Putin’s war ship attacked in brutal missile onslaught by Ukraine on Crimea
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Ukraine launched 15 cruise missiles at a Russian shipyard in occupied Crimea, resulting in a direct hit on a Russian warship. The attack, using French-supplied SCALP missiles, could potentially disrupt Moscow’s offensive capabilities in the region.
The strike happened at the Zalyv dockyard in the port city of Kerch, where the Russian vessel was stationed.
According to Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of Ukraine’s air force, the targeted warship was equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles, which Russia had previously used to target locations within Ukraine.
Gen Oleshchuk confirmed the successful attack, naming the Russian warship as the Askold, a small Karakurt-class warship armed with eight Kalibr missiles.
The Askold was reportedly undergoing final preparations before being commissioned into the Black Sea Fleet.
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Satellite images provided evidence of the Russian warship’s presence in the Zalyv dockyard during the missile strike, and Russia’s Ministry of Defence acknowledged that one of its warships had been hit.
While the ministry reported that Ukrainian air defences had intercepted 13 of the 15 missiles, the extent of the damage to the shipyard was not detailed.
SCALP missiles are comparable to the British Storm Shadow missiles and have previously been used by Ukraine to target Russian command centres in occupied Ukraine and Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, located in annexed Crimea.
Over the past year, Ukraine has frequently launched attacks on Russia’s navy in the Black Sea, prompting Russia to relocate its warships from Sevastopol to the port of Novorossyk along the coast.
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Moscow has also announced plans to establish a new naval base for its fleet in Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia situated approximately 350 miles away.
However, Ukraine’s efforts to push back Russian forces on land have met with limited success. Gen Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the head of Ukraine’s armed forces, indicated that the conflict had reached a stalemate, despite Kyiv’s counter-offensive attempts.
Ukraine’s military also reported that a Russian missile strike near the southern frontlines in the Zaporizhzhia region had claimed the lives of at least 20 soldiers who were participating in a medal ceremony. The affected troops were from the 128th mountain assault brigade, which predominantly recruits from the western Transcarpathian region.
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