Ukraine has launched a new attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol, where officials in the annexed Crimean peninsula said at least one drone had been shot down by anti-aircraft defenses.
The attack, reported early Saturday morning, a day after explosions erupted near military bases in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine and Russia itself, came amid cautious optimism elsewhere as two ships of more cereals left a Ukrainian port.
The shipments, from the port of Chornomorsk, brought to 27 the total number to leave Ukraine’s Black Sea under a UN agreement.
While there was no apparent major damage after the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attack in Sevastopol, which has not been independently verified by the Guardian, observers said it demonstrated Ukraine’s ability to strike deep into the Russian lines against prestige targets.
video shared on Twitter appeared to show Russian air defenses attempting to attack the drone and dark plumes of smoke rising from the city.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, governor of Sevastopol, wrote on Telegram that a drone hit the roof of the headquarters on Saturday and said there were no casualties, the Russian news agency reports. cups.
“I’m at the [Black Sea] now the headquarters of the fleet. A drone hit the roof here 25 minutes ago. Unfortunately, he was not shot down… No casualties,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s defense ministry said on Saturday that its forces had killed a total of 44,900 Russian soldiers, an increase of 200 the previous day.
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The US said for the first time on Friday that it will provide Ukraine with ScanEagle surveillance drones, mine-resistant vehicles, anti-armor rounds and howitzer weapons in a new £655m aid package to help its efforts to recover Ukrainian territory.
“These capabilities are carefully calibrated to make a difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine’s position at the negotiating table,” said Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president, said in response to the announcement that it was “one more important step in defeating the aggressor.”
Wednesday will mark six months of war in the region since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
While Russia has made gains in the east, it has been on the defensive in other regions as Ukraine steps up its attacks on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was seized by Russia in 2014.
Last week, it was reported that a total of nine Russian warplanes were destroyed at an air base in Crimea.
Russian leaders have warned that the attacks signal an escalation in the conflict, driven by US and NATO allies.
In its latest intelligence update on the conflict, Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) said last week it saw “only minimal changes in frontline territorial control”.
In Donbas, he said Russian forces have approached the outskirts of Bakhmut, but have not entered the city. In the southwest, he reported that neither Ukrainian nor Russian forces had made advances on the front line in occupied Kherson, but added: “Increasingly frequent explosions behind Russian lines are probably stressing Russian logistics and the airbase to the south.”
While predicting significant changes next week were unlikely, the MOD said: “Over the coming months, the initiative will go to whichever side succeeds in generating a credible and committed force for offensive operations.”