Moscow is on alert after a ‘drone attack’ hit Crimea

Moscow is on alert after a ‘drone attack’ hit Crimea


Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, annexed by Russia, was targeted by a drone strike on Tuesday, Kremlin-deployed authorities said, adding that Moscow’s forces there were “on alert”.

The strike came as Ukraine won another territorial victory and just days after Moscow said it was strengthening its position in the Crimean peninsula.

“There is an attack with drones,” the governor of Crimea’s Sevastopol administrative region, Mikhail Razvozhayev, told Telegram.

“Our air defense forces are working right now.”

He said two drones had “already been shot down.”

Razvozhayev said no civilian infrastructure was damaged and urged residents to “stay calm”.

Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 after nationwide pro-democracy demonstrations that led to the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin president.

It used the peninsula, which is home to several key Russian military bases, as a launch pad for its invasion of Ukraine in February.

But in recent months Ukrainian forces have pushed a counter-offensive south into Crimea and earlier this month recaptured Kherson, the capital of the region bordering the annexed peninsula.

There have been several explosions at or near Russian military installations in Crimea since February, including a coordinated drone attack on a key Russian naval port in Sevastopol in October.

Last week, the territory’s Moscow-allied governor Sergei Aksyonov said the authorities would strengthen their positions on the peninsula.

“Fortification works are being carried out … with the aim of ensuring the safety of all Crimean residents,” he said.

– ‘Not tired’ –

Ukraine said Tuesday it had retaken almost all of the region of an isolated peninsula off the Black Sea where fighting is ongoing.

“We are restoring full control of the region. We still have three settlements on the Kinburn Split to officially no longer be a war zone,” Mykolaiv Regional Governor Vitaly Kim said on social media.

The southern fissure protruding into the Black Sea is divided into two: on the west as part of the Mykolaiv region and on the east as part of the Kherson region.

It is cut off from territory controlled by the Ukrainian Armed Forces by the Dnipro River, which flows through the Kherson region.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the European Union in an online press conference that its support was vital and warned of “weariness” towards the war.

“If we Ukrainians are not tired, the rest of Europe has neither a moral nor a political right to be tired,” he said.

– help and gas –

Kuleba called on the EU to implement a new round of sanctions against Russia, urging special attention to measures to slow and stop Russia’s missile industry.

“I urge my colleagues in the EU to put aside all doubts or, as the buzzword goes, ‘fatigue’ and start and quickly complete the ninth package of sanctions,” he said.

The US government said Tuesday it would provide an additional $4.5 billion in financial assistance to “support essential government services.”

With much of Ukraine’s energy grid being hit by Russian strikes, the World Bank has warned the country is facing “serious energy disruptions and colder weather”.

Meanwhile, Russian energy giant Gazprom accused Ukraine of diverting natural gas supplies to Moldova and in response threatened to cut supplies through a key pipeline to Europe.

The allegations marked the latest point of tension over energy supplies between Kyiv, European capitals and Moscow – which has reduced supplies to Europe in response to Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.

Ukraine denied the allegations, saying that all gas volumes tied to Moldovan consumers had been transferred “in full”.

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