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Ukraine Says Struck Russian Ship in Annexed Crimea

The Kommuna salvage ship (R) in the Sevastopol Bay Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

Ukraine said Sunday its navy had struck a salvage ship belonging to Russia's Black Sea fleet on the annexed Crimean peninsula, putting it out of service.

It did not say where the attack took place, but social media footage purportedly filmed in the Crimean port of Sevastopol showed a ship in flames.

"Today, the Ukrainian Navy hit the Russian salvage ship 'Kommuna' in temporarily occupied Crimea," Ukraine's Defense Ministry said.

The Russian navy used the ship for deep-sea work — including raising submarines and sunken cargo — and it was one of the oldest in service, Ukraine said.

Ukrainian navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk said the damage caused by the attack was unclear but that the ship was "no longer capable of performing its tasks."

"This will continue to happen until the Russians run out of ships or leave Crimea," he said.

The Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev said earlier that Moscow's military had "repelled an attack by an anti-ship missile" on a vessel at the port.

He did not say which ship was attacked, but said "fallen fragments caused a small fire, which was promptly extinguished."

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