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Russia Destroys Ukrainian Naval Drones Near Black Sea Port

The bay in Novorossiysk. Nikolay Sizonenko (CC BY 3.0)

Russia said Wednesday it had destroyed two Ukrainian naval drones that were advancing on its Black Sea port of Novorossiysk overnight.

Ukrainian naval drones have sunk several Russian ships in the Black Sea, but strikes as far east as Novorossiysk are rare.

"Two unmanned boats traveling in the direction of Novorossiysk were destroyed in the waters of the Black Sea," Russia's Defense Ministry said in a post on Telegram.

The major port city lies on Russia's southeastern coast, 100 kilometers east of the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The route from Ukrainian-held territory to the port is at least 500 kilometers through the Black Sea, around the southern tip of Crimea.

After a spate of successful Ukrainian strikes on Russian ships in the Black Sea, satellite images revealed Moscow pulled its Black Sea fleet out of its historic base in Sevastopol to Novorossiysk, which is harder for Ukraine to hit.

The Defense Ministry published footage of what it said was the naval drones being destroyed.

The video shows several bright rounds being fired into the sea at night from multiple directions, hitting the water near a small craft before an explosion and fire break out.

Kyiv has heavily targeted Crimea since Russia launched its full-scale military offensive in February 2022, including multiple attacks and attempted strikes on the Kerch bridge, a vital road and rail route linking the peninsula to Russia.

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