This Article is From Aug 25, 2023

Russia Stopped Massive 42-Drone Attack On Crimea By Ukraine: Moscow

"Nine UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) were destroyed... over the territory of the Republic of Crimea. 33 UAVs were suppressed by electronic warfare and crashed without reaching the target," Russia's defence ministry wrote on Telegram.

Russia Stopped Massive 42-Drone Attack On Crimea By Ukraine: Moscow

Russia downed a barrage of 42 Ukrainian drones near Crimea, Moscow's defence ministry said Friday, in the largest recent air attack on the peninsula and a day after Kyiv claimed a special forces raid on the territory.
Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, has been targeted by Kyiv throughout Moscow's Ukraine offensive but has come under more intense, increased attacks in recent weeks.

Nine drones were "destroyed... over the territory of the Republic of Crimea," the defence ministry wrote on Telegram early Friday.

Thirty-three others "were suppressed by electronic warfare and crashed without reaching the target," it said, without specifying whether there had been any damage or casualties.

Earlier, a local Russian-installed official said several drones had been destroyed over the sea off Crimea's Cape Khersones.

The cape is located in the southwest of the peninsula near Sevastopol, which is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet.

Emergency services reported no damage to civilian infrastructure from those drones, Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvozhayev wrote on Telegram.

It was not clear whether they were included in the 42 reported by the defence ministry.

"All forces and services are in a state of combat readiness," Razvozhayev said.

Kyiv has repeatedly said it plans to take Crimea back.

In recent weeks it has targeted Russian infrastructure on the peninsula with barrages of up to 28 aerial drones.

On Thursday, Ukraine said its forces had landed on the peninsula and flown the country's flag during a "special operation" to mark its second wartime Independence Day.

Special forces troops had landed overnight on Crimea's western shore near the towns of Olenivka and Mayak, where they had "engaged in combat", Ukraine's GUR intelligence agency said.

Moscow has also accused Ukraine of attacking the Russian-built Crimean bridge, which connects the peninsula to Russia.

The bridge has been closed due to multiple incidents including a massive explosion in October last year.

- Missile -

Reports of the aerial attack come as the Pentagon said it would begin training Ukrainian F-16 pilots in the United States starting next month.

The jets have long been sought by Kyiv, now bogged down in a plodding counter-offensive aimed at retaking land held by Russian forces.

US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on Thursday about plans to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets, the White House said.

Earlier, Biden had said he was "not surprised" at news that Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group and who led a brief mutiny against Russia's military, may have died in a plane crash.

"I don't know for a fact what happened, but I'm not surprised," Biden said.

Putin broke his silence Thursday on news of the crash, paying a qualified tribute to the mercenary boss and the paramilitary group he led.

"He was a man of complicated fate, and he made serious mistakes in his life, but he achieved the right results," Putin said.

Air defence systems destroyed a Ukrainian missile over Kaluga region, Moscow's defence ministry said Friday.

Kaluga borders the Moscow region, which has been targeted by a barrage of Ukrainian drone attacks in recent days after Kyiv vowed to "return" the conflict to Russia.

Flights to and from Moscow's Vnukovo and Domodedovo airports were briefly halted, the TASS news agency reported Friday, citing aviation services and without specifying why.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)