Ukrainian forces struck a shipyard in the port city of Kerch in Russian-occupied Crimea on Saturday evening. That’s what the Ukrainian army says. According to the Ministry of Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the attacks were “successful.” That claim cannot be independently verified.
For a long time, Crimea was beyond the reach of the Ukrainian army, but thanks to Western arms supplies of long-range missiles, it has recently been possible to regularly fire on targets on the peninsula.
Still, today’s rocket attack would be the furthest yet, as Kerch is more than 250 kilometers from the front. Kiev may also benefit from successful attempts in recent weeks to eliminate Russian air defenses in Crimea.
It is not known whether damage was caused on Saturday or whether there were any casualties. The Russian occupation forces in Crimea say the rockets were shot out of the sky. Mimages on social media show a rocket hit followed by a fire near the shipyard. A Russian ship launching cruise missiles towards Ukraine may have been hit.
On Telegram, the commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, General Mykola Oleshchuk, thanked “the pilots for the successful attacks on the infrastructure of the Zaliv shipyard in Kerch.” According to Oleshchuk, the Russians have “suffered the Scalp”, referring to the French Scalp EC long-range missiles with a range of 550 kilometers that Ukraine has been using for several months.
Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly said he is determined to regain the territory. The city of Kerch is located near the bridge that connects the peninsula with the Russian mainland and was given the same name. The bridge was hit twice with explosives, the first time by a truck, then by an unmanned boat, but was repaired each time by the Russians.