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Kremlin: Russian naval ship in Crimea damaged in airstrike by Ukrainian forces

A Russian warship takes part in maneuvers in the Black Sea, Crimea, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020.
A Russian warship takes part in maneuvers in the Black Sea, Crimea, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Copyright Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Copyright Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
By AP
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A Russian naval ship in Crimea was damaged in an airstrike by Ukrainian forces, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

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The landing ship Novocherkassk was hit at a base in the city of Feodosia by plane-launched guided missiles, the ministry said, adding that two Ukrainian fighter jets were destroyed by anti-aircraft fire during the attack.

Over the past several months, Ukrainian forces have conducted attacks around Crimea, mostly with sea drones. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy credits those attacks with allowing Ukraine to restore navigation in the Black Sea and allowing the export of millions of tons of grain.

There was no immediate report of how badly the Russian ship was damaged, but videos circulating on Ukrainian channels showed an extensive fire in the port area.

“The Russian fleet has become smaller,” Ukrainian Air Force Cmdr. Mykola Oleschuk said in a mocking message on the Telegram app.

He urged Russians to leave Crimea - which Russia annexed in 2014 - “while it's not too late.”

The Air Force did not say whether any of its planes were shot down in the attack.

A summary from the Ukrainian presidential office on Tuesday said Russia launched 18 drones against the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, 13 of which were shot down, over the past day.

The remaining drones caused infrastructure damage, but no casualties were reported, the summary said.

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