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Ukraine launched a barrage of attack drones at Crimea overnight, Russia says

Ukraine launched a barrage of attack drones at Crimea overnight, Russia says
Kerch bridge
A Russian warship near the Kerch Bridge in July 2023.STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images
  • Russia says Ukraine sent a wave of 41 drones over Crimea targets overnight on Monday.

  • Ukraine has not commented on the attack, but a defense official had hinted one was coming.

  • Various unofficial reports say explosions were heard in three key sites in Crimea.

Ukraine sent a wave of attack drones across Crimea overnight on Monday, Russian officials said, amid multiple unconfirmed reports of explosions on the peninsula.

In a statement early Tuesday, the Russian Ministry of Defence said it had destroyed 22 Ukrainian drones and intercepted 13 more over Crimea and the Sea of Azov, state-controlled news agency TASS reported.

More drones came later, the MOD was reported as saying, leading to a total of 41.

Business Insider was unable to independently confirm Russia's claims, and Ukraine has not commented on the alleged attack.

In accounts cited across mainstream Ukrainian media, various prominent Telegram accounts reported explosions over eastern Crimea.

The journalist-run channel Astra said that "Kerch residents heard at least 30 explosions over the city," according to Ukrainska Pravda's translation.

The pro-Ukrainian Telegram channel Crimean Wind reported that power was cut off near the Kerch Bridge, while a Telegram account that monitors the bridge's operations said it was closed on Tuesday morning. Traffic was stopped for about four hours and resumed at 6.37 a.m. local time, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

The reports come less than 24 hours after a top Ukrainian defense official warned that Russia should be concerned about attacks on the bridge.

Defense Intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told broadcasters that a massive storm, which pounded the Black Sea and Azov Sea region on November 27, had caused damage to part of the bridge's defensive structures, and could take weeks to repair.

"Of course, the enemy quite rightly fears that the Ukrainian Defense Forces will take advantage of this," Yusov said, per The New Voice of Ukraine's translation.

The Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia to the Crimean peninsula, is a prime target for Ukraine. It's a key logistical route for Russia's military, as well as a source of considerable symbolic pride for the Kremlin.

However, it is a "significant security burden requiring multi-domain protection," the UK's Ministry of Defence said in October.

The UK MOD noted in particular that, since a major Ukrainian strike on it last year, Russia has avoided sending trucks and fuel supplies across the bridge.

In addition to the reported attacks over Kerch, the pro-Russian Telegram account Baza said that at about 5 a.m. local time on Tuesday, two aircraft-type drones targeted an oil depot in Feodosia, a key port town.

Both were shot down with no harm done, Baza said.

Meanwhile, Crimean Wind also reported explosions being heard there, and said that a Pantsir-S1 antiaircraft missile system was fired from the oil depot.

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