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Ukraine damages Putin’s warship in Crimea with missile strike, Russia claims

A Ukrainian missile strike hit a shipyard over the weekend in Crimea, dealing a blow to at least one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warships, the Kremlin claimed late Saturday.

Some 15 cruise missiles rained down at the Saliva shipyard in Kerch, which is fixated about 600 miles south of Kyiv and is fixated in the eastern part of the Crimean Peninsula, per the Kremlin.

Moscow says its air defense systems managed to counter 13 missiles, but acknowledged that some got through and dealt a blow to a ship, but didn’t specify how much damage was done.

“On November 4, the Ukrainian army launched 15 cruise missiles at the B.E. Butoma (Zaliv) shipyard in the city of Kerch, Russia’s defense ministry said, per a translation.

“Air defense systems shot down 13 of the cruise missiles. As a result of being hit by an enemy cruise missile, a ship located at the plant was damaged.”

Sergei Aksyonov Russia’s implanted governor of Crimea also confirmed there was an attack.

Smoke in russia
Moscow claims that it’s air defense system countered 13 of the 15 missiles from Ukraine.Telegram

“Fragments of downed missiles fell onto territory of one of the dry docks,” Aksyonov wrote in a Telegram post. “There were no casualties.”

Ukraine acknowledged the strike as well.

Ukrainian Air Force commander, Mykola Oleshchuk said the navy yard hit by the strike was home “one of the most modern ships of Russia’s Black Sea fleet was at the shipyard — carrier of the Kalibr cruise missiles.”

Based on Oleshchuk’s statement, it’s not clear if that specific ship was actually damaged in the operation.

One observer — military analyst Andriy Tsaplienko — speculated in a Telegram post that based on preliminary information, the strike hit Russia’s Askold missile ship, which was launched in 2021.

Satellite photo of shipyard
The dock that was targeted by Ukraine was home to one of the most modern ships in Russia’s Black Sea fleet.Planet Labs

The operation took place not far from a major bridge between Crimea and Russia.

It illustrates Ukraine’s ability to potential hit targets in Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and Russian settlers flocked to the peninsula even as Ukraine sought to limit water supplies and insisted Crimea was theirs.

Since Russia’s 2022 invasion, Kyiv has taken occasional strikes on the peninsula, including at a somewhat more frequent pace as of late.

In September, a Ukrainian strike damaged two Russian ships in the port city of Sevastopol.

The Russian headquarters for its navy in Sevastopol was also hit by a strike later that same month.

Recently, the US agreed to dispatch ATACMS — Army Tactical Missile Systems — long-range weapons that President Biden had long resisted sending to the war-torn nation.

Ukraine used those ATACMS in a strike last month and the weapons have the potential to force Russia air power further back on the battlefield, alleviating some pressure on Ukrainian positions.

Behind the scenes US and European officials have quietly floated the prospect of negotiating a peace agreement to end the 20 months of bitter fighting, NBC reported.

Biden is seeking to pressure Congress into delivering a sprawling $106 billion supplemental aid package that would allocate about $61.4 billion to Ukraine.

But that measure has hit stiff resistance from House Republicans who want to “bifurcate” Israel and Ukraine aid.

Newly crowned House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has indicated openness to taking up a separate package featuring both Ukraine aid and border security.

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