Moscow: The Russian Navy foiled a drone attack in Crimea’s Sevastopol on Thursday morning, the city’s governor Mikhail Razvozhaev has revealed. The strategic port-city has seen a number of similar attacks in recent months, with Russian authorities pointing the finger at Ukraine.
Located on the southwest coast of Crimea, which joined Russia following a referendum in 2014, Sevastopol is considered to hold strategic significance, as has had a special status of federal city granted to it by Russian authorities.This means that, despite being a city rather than a region, it is headed by a governor. The only two other cities with this status in Russia are Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
On Thursday, Razvozhaev posted a short message on his Telegram channel: “In the morning, a Russian Black Sea Fleet ship on duty shot down a UAV over the sea.”READ MORE: Three killed in Ukrainian attacks on airfields in Russia – MOD
He praised the military personnel, reporting that they’d handled the threat professionally, “as ever.”
The governor’s comments came after local residents started describing on social media a loud bang they’d heard over the city.
According to local media, a similar incident had occurred in Sevastopol in the early hours of Tuesday.
In October, some nine aerial and seven naval drones attempted to strike vessels of the Russian Black Sea Fleet docked at Sevastopol Naval Base. The Russian Defense Ministry said at the time that the attack had been repelled, with one vessel suffering minor damage as a result.
Russian officials say that the data retrieved from the October drone attack indicated that the UAVs and naval drones had been launched from the Ukrainian Black Sea coast, not far from the port city of Odessa, and had been moving along the UN-brokered Black Sea grain corridor
In July, a UAV, supposedly of Ukrainian origin, attacked the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol.
Ukraine considers Crimea an inalienable part of its territory, temporarily occupied by Russia. President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly vowed to retake the peninsula.
In late April, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained that the military offensive against Ukraine launched by Russia a few months earlier had sought, among other goals, to “guarantee the peace and security” of Crimea.
In May, the Russian head of state reiterated that Ukraine had “openly been preparing for… an invasion of our historic lands, including Crimea.” He claimed that Russia’s military campaign was pre-emptive in its nature.