Russia claims to have downed 8 UAVs to attack Crimea

Russian officials said that Russian forces repelled an attack on Sevastopol in Crimea, intercepting eight Ukrainian UAVs.

The Russian Air Defense Forces and Black Sea Fleet intercepted these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over the port of Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula on the morning of July 16, Mikhail Razvozhayev, the mayor of Sevastopol, announced on Telegram.

He said one UAV was shot down at sea, the electronic warfare force disabled five, and the rest were destroyed near land. Earlier, the mayor of Sevastopol said the attack took place in the port of Sevastopol and two districts of Khersones and Balaklava in the city.

“This is a large-scale, long-term attack,” Razvozhayev wrote, adding that no damage to ships or near-shore locations was recorded.

Black smoke rises after a drone attack in Sevastopol, Crimea in April. Photo: Reuters

Black smoke rises after a drone attack in Sevastopol, Crimea in April. Photo: Reuters

Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, and other locations in Crimea have been regularly attacked since Moscow launched an operation in Ukraine in late February 2022. On June 15, Russian air defense forces also shot down and neutralized nine Ukrainian UAVs, according to Crimean Governor Sergey Aksyonov.

Ukraine has not commented on the raid in Crimea, a peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014. Kyiv has rarely publicly claimed responsibility for attacks inside Russia or on territory controlled by Russia. However, in recent months, Ukraine has said that the destruction of Russian military infrastructure helps Kyiv’s counter-offensive.

Ukraine launched several NATO-trained and Western-armed brigades into the counterattack that began in early June. Despite claiming control of 200 square kilometers after more than a month of the counter-offensive, the Ukrainian military also suffered many casualties, loss of personnel and heavy combat vehicles.

US media quoted US officials as saying that Ukraine has lost about 20% of its weapons and military equipment since the start of the counter-offensive.