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Ukraine Says Hit Russian Air Defense System in Crimea

Russian S-400 air defense missile system. Russian Defense Ministry

Ukraine said it had struck part of Russia's air defense system in annexed Crimea overnight, as Moscow said it repelled a major attempted missile strike on the peninsula on Monday.

Kyiv has increased attacks on the Black Sea peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014, since it launched a counteroffensive against Russian forces earlier this year.

"The Armed Forces successfully hit a strategic object of the air defense system on the western coast of occupied Crimea," the Ukrainian army's strategic communications unit said on social media.

It gave no further details and Russia gave no official comment.

Later on Monday, Russia said its air defenses had successfully shot down eight Ukrainian missiles fired at the peninsula.

"On October 30, at around 13:00 (10:00 GMT), an attempted attack by the Kyiv regime with eight Storm Shadow cruise missiles at targets on the Crimean peninsula was stopped," Russia's Defense Ministry said.

"As a result of air defense systems repelling the attack, all missiles were shot down," it added.

Storm Shadows are British-supplied missile systems with a range of over 250 kilometers (155 miles) that enable Kyiv to hit targets deep behind the frontlines in the east and south of Ukraine.

One person was injured from falling debris, the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol said.

Russian military bloggers had overnight reported Ukraine was stepping up its attacks on the peninsula.

The influential Rybar Telegram channel — which is close to the Russian army — said Kyiv had launched a "combined attack."

It alleged Ukraine had launched two U.S. ATACMS missiles which fell near the village of Olenivka, on the western coast of Crimea.

Rybar said Russian forces were not able to down the missiles "but thanks to measures taken earlier there was no serious damage."

The social media account alleged that "half an hour later" Black Sea Fleet sailors discovered three Ukrainian naval drones near Sevastopol.

Rybar said one of them was "destroyed," while another two tried to enter the Bay of Khersones before being shot at and sunk by Russian forces.

Ukraine has regularly targeted Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.

In September, Kyiv said it had hit a symbolic army headquarters in Sevastopol.

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