The headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Ukrainian-occupied region of Crimea was hit by a drone attack early on August 20, a Russian-installed administrator reported.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-based administrator of the port city of Sevastopol, posted on Telegram that the drone crashed on the roof of the building and that there were no casualties.
A video showing a plume of smoke rising above the building was posted on social media.
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On the same day, the head of the occupation Oleg Kryuchkov posted on Telegram that “small drone attacks continue” in various locations around Crimea and urged civilians to “stay calm”.
“The goal is not military but psychological,” he wrote. “Explosives are minimal and incapable of inflicting significant damage.”
Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-imposed governor of Crimea, later reported shooting down Ukrainian drones.
“Air defense systems successfully hit all targets in the territory over Crimea on Saturday morning. There were no casualties or material damage,” he said on Telegram.
Claims cannot be independently verified.
Local media reported anti-aircraft activity near the western Crimean city of Yevpatoria, the town of Bakhchysaray and the Crimean capital, Simferopol, on August 20.
The incidents came just a day after Moscow confirmed that Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov had taken command of the fleet following a series of setbacks.
It was also the second time the fleet headquarters had been attacked by a drone. In late July, Sevastopol canceled celebrations to mark the Russian Navy Day holiday after a bomb dropped by a drone injured six people.
In April, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, sank near Crimea. Russia claimed an ammunition explosion caused the damage that sank the ship, while Ukraine claimed it sank the ship with a missile strike.
On August 9, a Russian military airbase in Crimea was rocked by multiple explosions that destroyed at least nine military aircraft. On August 19, German news agency dpa quoted Western military officials as saying that the attack on Saky airbase had knocked out more than half of the Black Sea Fleet’s aircraft and forced the fleet to adopt a defensive position.
On August 19, Russian air defenses were activated in the eastern city of Kerch, which is the terminus of the Crimean Bridge (also known as the Kerch Strait Bridge), a high-profile $4 billion project to connect the region occupied Ukraine to Russia. continental. No damage to the bridge or the city was reported during the incident.
Ukrainian officials have avoided publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, but an unnamed senior Ukrainian official has been cited in The New York Times as saying that an elite Ukrainian military unit operating behind enemy lines was carrying out at least some of the attacks.
Fighting intensifies in southern and eastern Ukraine
Fighting in the southern regions of Ukraine, just north of Crimea, has intensified in recent weeks as Ukrainian forces attempt to drive Russian forces out of towns they have occupied since the start of the war.
Ukrainian officials said Russian shelling injured 12 people, including three children, and damaged homes and an apartment building in the town of Voznesensk, Mykolaiv region, on August 20. Two of the children are said to be in serious condition.
Voznesensk is about 30 kilometers from the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant, the second largest in Ukraine. No damage was reported to the nuclear power plant.
The Ukrainian military said on April 20 that it had destroyed a prized Russian radar system and other equipment stationed in occupied areas of the southern Zaporizhzhya region.
“Tonight there were powerful explosions in Melitopol, which the whole city heard,” said Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol Ivan Ferodov. “According to preliminary data, [it was] a precise hit on one of the Russian military bases, which the Russian fascists are trying to restore for the umpteenth time in the airfield area.
Claims cannot be independently verified.
In the east, Ukraine’s military headquarters said intensified fighting had taken place around Bakhmut, a small town that for weeks had been a key target of Moscow’s eastern offensive.
A local Ukrainian official reported heavy fighting near four settlements on the border of Lugansk and Donetsk provinces, which together form the disputed Donbass region. The official did not name the settlements.