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Ukraine military says it hit Zalyv shipyard in Russian-annexed Crimea

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Ukraine’s armed forces said they hit marine and port infrastructure at a shipyard in the port city of Kerch on the eastern coast of Russian-occupied Crimea.

Since launching its counteroffensive against Moscow’s forces this summer, Kyiv has ramped up attacks on the Black Sea peninsula that Russia seized in 2014.

The peninsula’s Russian-installed chief said on Saturday that downed missile fragments had hit a dry dock and that there were no casualties.

Ukraine had “implemented successful strikes on marine and port infrastructure of the ‘Zalyv’ factory in the temporarily occupied city of Kerch,” the Department for Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Telegram post, giving no further details.

“I hope another ship has followed the Moskva!” Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of Ukraine’s Air Force, said in a Telegram post, referring to the Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship sunk by Ukrainian missiles on April 14, 2022.

Oleshchuk said cruise missiles struck the infrastructure at Zalyv – which is now named BE Butoma – “where one of the most modern Russian Navy ships was stationed, a Kalibr cruise missile carrier”. He said he was “awaiting official confirmation of the results”.

Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-installed governor of Crimea, said air defence systems had been in action around a Kerch shipyard named after BE Butoma.

“Fragments of downed missiles fell onto territory of one of the dry docks,” Aksyonov said in a Telegram post. “There were no casualties.”

Meanwhile, Russian news agencies cited the Russian Ministry of Defence confirming that Ukraine hit a shipyard in Kerch with 15 cruise missiles, damaging one ship. It added that air defence systems destroyed 13 of the Ukraine-launched missiles.

The Reuters and AFP news agencies said it was not possible to verify the Russian and Ukrainian statements, nor social media posts including videos of missile activity as well as fire and smoke that the posts said was rising from the same location the Ukrainian military mentioned.

Military analyst and journalist Andriy Tsaplienko said in a Telegram post that one of Russia’s most modern ships, a small cruise missile carrier launched in 2021, the Askold, was damaged in the attack, according to what he described as preliminary information.

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