Drone strike hits Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Ukraine’s occupied Crimea

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Russia’s naval headquarters for its Black Sea fleet in Ukraine’s occupied Crimea was hit by a drone Saturday, a Russian official said.

The Moscow installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, took to Telegram to confirm the hit and said a drone crashed into the roof of the building.

There were no reported casualities.

Razvozhayev first said the drone “flew into the roof” of the building and noted that Russian forces had not been able to down the strike.

FILE - Russian Navy ships are docked in the Sevastopol bay on March 4, 2014. <span class="copyright">VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP via Getty Images</span>

FILE – Russian Navy ships are docked in the Sevastopol bay on March 4, 2014. VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP via Getty Images

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Some thirty minutes later he amended his comments on the social media platform and said the drone had been shot down “right above the fleet headquarters. It fell on the roof and caught fire.”

It remains unclear if the drone was shot down or not but video posted online showed black smoke billowing over the building.

A Russian official in Crimea, Oleg Kryuchkov, also took to Telegram to urge civilians in Crimea to “remain calm” as “attacks by small drones continue” around Crimea.

“The goal is not military but psychological,” he added. “The explosives are minimal and not capable of inflicting significant harm.”

Russia’s naval power in Crimea has seen several setbacks in recent months and Western officials assessed this week that half of the fleet’s naval combat jets are out of commission, according to a Reuters report.

Ukraine says 'demilitarization in action' as explosions rock ammo depot in Russia-occupied Crimea <span class="copyright">Reuters</span>

Ukraine says ‘demilitarization in action’ as explosions rock ammo depot in Russia-occupied Crimea Reuters

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Mulitple explosions at the Novofedorivka airfield – roughly 60 miles north of Sevastopol on Crimea’s western coastline – were reported earlier month.

At least nine warplanes were wiped out in the explosions that Russia attempted to downplay by claiming the ammunition had accidentally detonated at the airfield.

But images of the incident could suggest it was a missile strike.

The Western official, who wished to remain anonymous, told Reuters that Ukraine was seeing “kinetic effects” behind Russian lines which is having “a significant psychological effect on the Russian leadership”.

The U.K. defense ministry on Saturday assessed that neither Ukraine nor Russia made great advances this week and officials do not believe there will be major gains made in the weeks to come.

“Russian forces are, for now, probably only prepared to undertake limited local assaults, rarely involving more than a company of troops,” the ministry said in its daily briefing. “However, over the coming months the initiative will go to whichever side manages to generate a credible, committed force for offensive operations.”

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