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Ukraine strikes shipyard in Crimea

KYIV (AFP) – Ukraine fired cruise missiles at a shipyard on the east coast of the Crimean peninsula, damaging a ship and causing debris to fall on a dock yesterday.

Since launching its counteroffensive this summer, Kyiv has ramped up attacks on the peninsula in a bid to suppress the Black Sea naval fleet.

“On November 4, the Ukrainian army launched 15 cruise missiles at the BE Butoma (Zaliv) shipyard in the city of Kerch,” Russia’s defence ministry said, according to state media.

“Air defence systems shot down 13 of the cruise missiles,” the ministry said, adding: “As a result of being hit by an enemy cruise missile, a ship located at the plant was damaged.”

It did not say how badly the ship was damaged or name which ship was attacked.

Debris from the downed missiles also fell on a nearby dock, but no-one was injured, Crimea’s governor Sergei Aksyonov said, without providing further detail.

Ukrainian soldiers ride an APC during combat training at a military training ground in the north of Ukraine. PHOTO: AP

The nearby Crimean bridge to the mainland, which has been targeted by Ukrainian forces before, was briefly shut on Saturday for undisclosed reasons.

Ukraine had announced the attack on Saturday and confirmed details yesterday.

“On the evening of November 4, the Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out successful strikes on the maritime and port infrastructure of the Zaliv shipyard in the temporarily occupied Kerch,” it said.

Ukrainian air force commander Mykola Oleschuk said a Kalibr cruise missile carrier was stationed at the shipyard, and thanked pilots for what he called the “successful” strikes.

Ukrainian attacks in and around the Black Sea have intensified since the end of the Black Sea grain deal, which aimed to ensure safe passage to civilian ships.

In September, Ukraine launched a missile attack that struck the headquarters of Black Sea fleet in the port city of Sevastopol.