Ukraine launched a new attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, where officials from the annexed Crimean peninsula said at least one drone had been shot down by air defenses.
The attack reported on 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 more grain ships 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-brokered deal.
While there was no apparent major damage following 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 behind russian lines on prestigious goals.
Video shared on twitter it seemed to show Russian air defenses trying to engage the UAV 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. Tass.
“I am in the [Black Sea] fleet headquarters now. A drone hit the roof here 25 minutes ago. Unfortunately, it was not shot down… No casualties,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that its forces had killed a total of 44,900 Russian personnel, an increase of 200 from the day before.
On Friday, the US said for the first time that it would provide Ukraine with ScanEagle surveillance drones, mine-resistant vehicles, anti-armor shells and howitzer weapons in a new £655m aid package to help its efforts to recover the Ukrainian territory.
“These capabilities are carefully calibrated to make the biggest difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine’s position at the negotiating table.” Antony blinkedUS Secretary of State said.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president, said in response to the announcement that it was “another 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 progress in the east, it has gone 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 a Crimean air base.
Russian leaders have warned that such attacks signal an escalation in the conflict, fueled by the US and NATO allies
In its latest intelligence update on the conflict, Britain Minister of Defense (MOD) said last week that it saw “only minimal changes in territorial control along the front line.”
In Donbas, he said that Russian forces have approached the outskirts of Bakhmut, but have not broken into the city. In the southwest, he reported that neither Ukrainian nor Russian forces had advanced on the front line in occupied Kherson, but added: “Increasingly frequent explosions behind Russian lines are likely stressing Russian airbase and logistics. In the south”.
While predicting that significant changes were unlikely in the coming week, the MOD said: “In the coming months, the initiative will go anywhere that succeeds in generating a credible and committed force for offensive operations.”