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Homeeurope newsBlasts and fresh drone attacks rock Russian-held areas far from Ukraine war...

Blasts and fresh drone attacks rock Russian-held areas far from Ukraine war front

  • Russia's RIA and Tass news agencies, citing a local official in Crimea, said it appeared Russian anti-aircraft forces had been in action near the western Crimean port of Yevpatoriya on Friday night.
  • Video posted by a Russian website showed what appeared to be a ground-to-air missile hitting a target. Reuters was unable immediately to confirm the video's veracity.

Russia reported fresh Ukrainian drone attacks on Friday, after explosions erupted near military bases in Russian-held areas of Ukraine. This photo taken on Aug. 16, 2022 shows smoke billowing from a munitions depot in the village of Mayskoye, Crimea.Stringer | AFP | Getty Images

Russia reported fresh Ukrainian drone attacks on Friday evening, a day after explosions erupted near military bases in Russian-held areas of Ukraine and Russia itself, apparent displays of Kyiv's growing ability to pummel Moscow's assets far from front lines.

The latest incidents followed huge blasts last week at an air base in Russian-annexed Crimea. In a new assessment, a Western official said that incident had rendered half of Russia's Black Sea naval aviation force useless in a stroke.

Russia's RIA and Tass news agencies, citing a local official in Crimea, said it appeared Russian anti-aircraft forces had been in action near the western Crimean port of Yevpatoriya on Friday night. Video posted by a Russian website showed what appeared to be a ground-to-air missile hitting a target. Reuters was unable immediately to confirm the video's veracity.

Tass cited a local official as saying Russian anti-aircraft forces knocked down six Ukrainian drones sent to attack the town of Nova Kakhovka, east of the city of Kherson. Ukraine says retaking Kherson is one of its main priorities.

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Separately, an official in Crimea said defenses there had downed an unspecified number of drones over the city of Sevastopol.

"The Ukrainian armed forces treated the Russians to a magical evening," said Seriy Khlan, a member of Kherson's regional council disbanded by Russian occupation forces.

The night before, multiple explosions had been reported in Crimea — which Moscow seized in 2014 — including near Sevastopol, headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, as well as at Kerch near a huge bridge to Russia.

Inside Russia, two villages had been evacuated after explosions at an ammunition dump in Belgorod province, more than 100 km (60 miles) from territory controlled by Ukrainian forces.

Kyiv coy about incidents in Crimea

Kyiv has been withholding official comment on incidents in Crimea or inside Russia while hinting that it is behind them using long-range weapons or sabotage.

A Western official indicated on Friday that at least some of the incidents were Ukrainian attacks, saying Kyiv was consistently achieving "kinetic effects" deep behind Russia's lines.

Huge explosions on Aug. 9 at Russia's Saky air base on the Crimean coast had put more than half of the Black Sea Fleet's combat jets out of use, the official said, in what would be one of the costliest attacks of the war.

Russia has denied aircraft were damaged in what it called an accident, although satellite pictures showed at least eight burnt-out warplanes and several huge craters.

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