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(File image) Russian Naval ship in Kronstadt in November. Alamy Stock Photo

Russian naval ship in Crimea ‘damaged in air strike by Ukrainian forces’

The landing ship was hit at a base by plane-launched guided missiles.

A RUSSIAN NAVAL ship in Crimea has been damaged in an air strike by Ukrainian forces, Russia’s Defence Ministry said.

The landing ship Novocherkassk was hit at a base in the city of Feodosia by plane-launched guided missiles, officials said.

The ministry added that two Ukrainian fighter jets were destroyed by anti-aircraft fire during the attack.

Over recent months, Ukrainian forces have conducted attacks around Crimea, mostly with sea drones, and President Volodymyr Zelensky says those attacks have allowed Ukraine to restore navigation in the Black Sea and allowing the export of millions of tons of grain.

There was no immediate report of how bad the Russian ship was damaged, but videos on Ukrainian channels showed an extensive fire in the port area.

“The Russian fleet has become smaller,” Ukrainian air force Commander Mykola Oleschuk said in a mocking message on the Telegram app.

He urged Russians to leave Crimea – which Moscow annexed in 2014 – “while it’s not too late”.

The air force did not say whether any of its planes were shot down in the attack.

A summary from the Ukrainian presidential office on Tuesday said Russia had launched 18 drones against the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, 13 of which were shot down, over the past day.

The remaining drones caused infrastructure damage but no casualties were reported, the summary said.

Press Association