Russian air defences down drones, missiles in Black Sea area, ministry says

(Reuters) – Russian air defence units downed missiles and drones in a series of night-time attacks over the Crimea peninsula and the western part of the Black Sea, the Defence Ministry said in two reports issued overnight and early on Saturday.

An initial ministry report on Telegram said air defence units “thwarted an attempted terrorist attack” by intercepting five drones over the Black Sea at about 8 p.m. (1700 GMT).

A second report said four Ukrainian guided missiles were intercepted and destroyed at 12.30 a.m. on Saturday over Crimea.

Reuters could not independently verify the Russian accounts.

There was no report on the incident from the Ukrainian military, which does not consistently disclose its actions in Crimea.

Ukraine has recently stepped up attacks on Russian targets in and around Crimea.

Ukraine said on Thursday its air force had conducted a strike on a Russian command post near the occupied city of Sevastopol and hit a military unit in a separate strike in Crimea.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said its air defence units had downed a total of 36 Ukrainian drones over Crimea on Thursday.

(Reporting by Reuters, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)