Russia says it shoots down two missiles over Crimea

(Reuters) -Russia’s defence ministry said the country’s air defence systems had “detected and destroyed” two Ukrainian S-200 anti-aircraft missiles, thwarting attacks it said Kyiv attempted four hours apart on the Crimean Peninsula on Saturday.

Reuters could not verify the reports by the ministry, which did not say where exactly the missiles were shot down over Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014.

At 10:25 p.m. in Moscow, Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne quoted a resident as saying two explosions rang out in the area of Yevtaporiya in the west of Crimea. Earlier, other local channels carried an image of smoke over Dzhankoi in the north and reported sounds of explosions.

The Russian defence ministry issued two near-identical Telegram posts saying Kyiv had “attempted a terrorist attack” at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Moscow time with an S-200 anti-aircraft missile that had been “converted to an attack version.”

In each post, it added, “Russian air defence systems promptly detected and destroyed the Ukrainian missile in the air.”

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Ros Russell and Chris Reese)