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Ukraine claims destruction of Russian warship at port in Crimea

Ukrainian forces struck a Russian warship at a port in Crimea on Tuesday morning.

One person was killed and six injured in the attack, according to local Russian authorities, who said that Ukrainian warplanes bombed the port of Feodosiya and claimed that two were shot down by air defences.

Ukraine’s air force later claimed the attack. “On December 26, the tactical aviation of the Ukraine Air Force launched a cruise missile on Russian Black Sea Fleet’s large landing ship Novocherkask in Feodosiya region,” it said in a statement.

The extent of the damage to the ship was not immediately clear but videos circulating on social media showed an explosion and fire purportedly caused by the strike. Ukrainian air force commander Mykola Oleschuk posted on Telegram: “The Russian fleet has become smaller.”

Local media reported extensive damage to the surrounding area. “Three kindergartens and three schools were affected due to the enemy attack,” according to Russian outlet Crimea 24.

Russian authorities warned local residents of the occupied peninsula, which is internationally recognised as Ukrainian territory but annexed by Russia in 2014, not to film the results of Ukrainian attacks.

Oleg Kryuchkov, advisor to the Head of Crimea, Sergey Aksonov, said: “There are hostilities, periodically the enemy strikes Crimea. Arrivals and hits happen. However, this is definitely not a reason to jump on their balconies in shorts, shoot video and put it on the network. In this way you work for the enemy, do the work of his intelligence.

“All those who posted the video have already been identified, the work of special services is being carried out.”

Ukraine has carried out regular raids on Russian military facilities in Crimea over the past year, often using marine drones. The strike on Feodosiya marks one of Kyiv’s most successful attacks behind enemy lines in recent months.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky credits those attacks with allowing Ukraine to restore navigation in the Black Sea and allowing the export of millions of tons of grain.

Kyiv has claimed a series of successful strikes on Russian targets over the past week, including several Su-30 and Su-34 warplanes.

Russia claims to have made advances on the battlefield. Defence minister Sergei Shoigu said on Sunday that Russian forces had taken full control of the city of Maryinka in eastern Ukraine.

“Our assault units have completely liberated the settlement of Maryinka,” he told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a televised meeting on Sunday.

The claimed gain would allow further advances into Ukrainian territory in the eastern Donbas region, the defence minister said.

Ukraine’s military said fighting for Maryinka was ongoing.

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