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Ukrainian Missile Strikes Destroy Russian Warplanes in Crimea, Satellite Images Show

Belbek airfield in Crimea after this week's Ukrainian strikes. ©2024 Maxar Technologies

Ukrainian missile strikes destroyed at least three Russian warplanes in annexed Crimea this week, media outlets reported Friday, citing satellite images.

Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed to have intercepted 15 U.S.-supplied ATACMS missiles on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Russian-installed governor of the Crimean city of Sevastopol, said Wednesday that Russian air defense systems had shot down Ukrainian missiles over the Belbek airfield.

Images from Maxar, a U.S. commercial satellite company, showed two destroyed MiG-31 fighter jets and one destroyed Su-27 fighter jet at Belbek airfield, according to Reuters, which added that one MiG-29 fighter aircraft also appeared to have been damaged.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Russian service investigative journalist Mark Krutov, citing images from Planet Labs, another satellite imagery provider, said the damages included a nearby fuel depot and resulted from two Ukrainian strikes over two consecutive nights.

Sevastopol and Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, have come under an increasing number of drone and missile strikes since Russian forces began making territorial gains on the frontline in recent days.

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