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Fireball over Crimea as Ukraine hits large Russian navy ship – POLITICO

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The Ukrainian military on Tuesday said it blew up the Russian landing vessel Novocherkassk stationed in the occupied Crimean port of Feodosia.

Russian authorities later confirmed that the warship had been severely damaged, and that one person was killed, two wounded and six people evacuated from their homes, Sergey Aksyonov, the head of the regional authority of Russian-controlled Crimea, was quoted as saying by Russia’s TASS news agency.

“The fleet in Russia is getting smaller and smaller!” Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of Ukraine’s air force, said on Telegram, thanking “the pilots of the Air Force and everyone involved for the skillful work!”

He called on Russian soldiers to “put on your pants and leave our Crimea ‘home’ before it’s too late!”

The attack using cruise missiles is the latest of a series of Ukrainian hits in Crimea where the Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed. Over the last months, Ukraine has managed to force the fleet out of the western part of the sea, allowing Ukraine to resume cargo shipping from its ports.

The successes against the Black Sea Fleet is a morale boost as the Ukrainian military counteroffensive to try and retake territory in the east of the country made little progress since it was launched in the summer.

The region of Crimea in the south of the country was illegally annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014

Veronika Melkozerova contributed reporting from Kyiv.

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