- Written by Paul Adams and Megan Fisher
- BBC News in Kiev, Ukraine and London
Russia says Ukraine launched 10 missiles and three drone boats in an attack on the headquarters of its Black Sea fleet in Crimea.
Russia said the attack caused a major fire at a shipyard in Sevastopol, injuring 24 people.
Moscow Governor Mikhail Razvozaev claimed that most of the weapons had been intercepted but that two ships had been damaged.
Ukraine has strongly hinted at using cruise missiles supplied by the West.
Unmanned vessels, known by many different names including marine drones and drone boats, operate on or under water. These devices usually have explosives and built-in cameras that feed back directly to the person controlling them.
A photo shared by Mr. Razvozhayev on Telegram shows flames engulfing what appears to be a ship in a port as he spoke on his phone.
It is believed to be located in an area where ships were undergoing repairs.
A large landing ship called Minsk and a submarine called Rostov-on-Don – believed to be in dry dock – are said to have been damaged. This makes it one of the most significant attacks launched by Ukraine to date on the Black Sea Fleet.
According to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the two ships will be completely repaired and will continue in normal service.
In a post on the Telegram app, Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk thanked his pilots for their “excellent combat work” — strongly suggesting that Ukrainian planes fired weapons. He also warned that there is more to come.
Mr. Oleshchuk posted in Ukrainian, and used language that strongly implied the use of British Storm Shadow cruise missiles or French SCALP missiles. These missiles have a range of more than 150 miles (240 kilometers), three times the range of missiles previously used by Ukraine.
When contacted, the Air Force said that Storm Shadow missiles and SCALP cruise missiles are the only weapons currently in use in Ukraine.
This appears to be the first time such weapons have been used on targets inside Crimea.
Pictures circulating on social media, which the BBC has not yet been able to verify, show several large explosions in the area.
The fact that some of the missiles penetrated Russian air defenses and appeared to cause significant damage would be a real concern in Moscow.
The country’s Ministry of Defense claimed that seven of the missiles were shot down and all three unmanned boats were destroyed.
Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and this attack shows the struggle for control of the waters.
Ukraine has consistently maintained that its ultimate goal is to reclaim the peninsula, and this is not the first time it has targeted Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet.
Meanwhile, Russian drones reportedly destroyed the Ukrainian grain port at Izmail, on the Danube River.
Odessa Region Governor Oleh Kiper said six people were injured in the attack, which caused a fire and damage to infrastructure.
“Several groups of drones were launched in the Ismail area,” Kiper said via the Telegram app.
“Unfortunately, there were casualties: damage to the port and other civilian infrastructure was recorded.”
“Travel specialist. Typical social media scholar. Friend of animals everywhere. Freelance zombie ninja. Twitter buff.”