Ukraine intelligence claims to target Russian military base in occupied Crimea

Russia says it shot down all 42 drones of Ukraine’s biggest air raid

By
Reuters
A view shows the Crimean bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the peninsula across the Kerch Strait, Crimea, July 17, 2023. — Reuters
A view shows the Crimean bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the peninsula across the Kerch Strait, Crimea, July 17, 2023. — Reuters

The Ukraine's GUR military intelligence agency said that it had hit a Russian military facility located deep inside Russian-controlled territory of Crimea, in a drone attack, Reuters reported on Saturday.

According to the news agency, Crimea residents reported casualties and road closures following the drone attack.

Ukrainian intelligence officials claimed the attack was carried out on Russia's 126th Coastal Defence Brigade based in Perevalnoye, a town more than 200 km (120 miles) from Ukraine-controlled territory.

"We confirm that there was a hit," said GUR spokesperson Andriy Yusov, according to Ukrainian media outlet Liga.Net.

Earlier on Friday, it was reported that Russia had claimed it had shot down all 42 drones - one of the biggest air raids coordinated by Ukrainian - attacking Crimea before they could hit their targets yet over Russian-controlled territory.

Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, declaring it Russian territory. The United States says it supported Ukrainian attacks on Russian military targets on the Black Sea peninsula of because it should be demilitarised.

"People - not only on the Ukrainian mainland but also in Crimea - need to remember and believe that our victory and their liberation are not far away," Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said of Friday's strike.

Perevalnoye residents, posting on the Telegram messaging app, reported hearing blasts from the military base and cited casualties.

However, Reuters could not independently verify these claims.

"Two people died on a firing range, one was taken to a hospital in a severe condition. This is information from above, from the firing range," said a user nicknamed Abdul Has, whose profile picture shows a man in camouflaged uniform.

Another user, Vlad the Local, said roughly one person was dead.

"Why was a gate to the military town closed?" user Julia Julia asked.

Another resident with the call sign Lis asked others not to disclose information.

"Residents of Perevalnoye, I strongly recommend - don't write here what happened and how," Lis wrote. "We help them to direct fire in the future with that."