Ukraine has unleashed a sea drone attack today on the key Russian port and naval base Novorossiysk.
Dramatic footage shows a drone burning before exploding in the harbour sparking a massive fireball.
While a different video showed the Russian naval landing Olenegorsky Gornya being towed towards the harbour after it sustained significant damage.
The blast in the port was seen, some 450 nautical miles, from the Kyiv-held waters where the drone was likely launched.
Vladimir Putin’s forces deployed two warships to counter the strikes.
Ship movements in key port Novorossiysk – the second largest Russian-run after St Petersburg – were halted amid the drone strikes and sound of gunfire.
Two Russian naval vessels – landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak and anti-sabotage boat Suvorovets – were deployed to shoot at the incoming surface drones.
Locals reported seeing “a bright flash over the sea and explosions”.
This was close to the facilities of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, a major international oil pipeline system which delivers oil from western Kazakhstan to Black Sea terminals at Novorossiysk.
Explosions were reported after midnight and also closer to dawn as Russian air defences worked.
The Russian defence ministry said its forces had repelled two drone strikes in Novorossiysk.
It said in a statement: “Two unmanned sea boats attempted to attack the Novorossiysk naval base.
“During the repulse of the attack, unmanned boats were visually detected and destroyed by fire from the standard weapons of Russian ships guarding the outer raid of the naval base.”
Mayor Andrei Kravchenko said: “Today military units have worked effectively to protect our hero city.
“Our servicemen are technically provided with everything necessary to perform their tasks.
“All life support and logistics facilities are under reliable protection.”
Meanwhile, loud explosions were heard in Russian-held Crimea as Ukraine staged a nighttime attack on an oil depot in Feodosia.
Russians said they faced 13 drones and had shot down ten with three more disabled by electronic warfare jamming.
Pro-Russian sources said this was “air defences shooting down enemy drones in the Crimean town of Feodosia”
The Russian defence ministry said: “An attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack by aircraft-type UAVs on objects on the territory of the Crimean peninsula was thwarted.
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