Ukraine Drones Destroy Russian Jets and Hit Power Station in Crimea

By John Mercury May 17, 2024

Struggling to contain Russian advances on the battlefield, Ukraine is increasingly taking the fight to Russia beyond the front lines in an effort to disrupt its military operations and put pressure on its economy — targeting airfields, logistics hubs and critical energy facilities with missiles and drones.

That strategy was on full display early on Friday when a series of explosions struck fuel depots, oil facilities and a power station in southwestern Russia and Crimea, the Russian-occupied Ukrainian peninsula. Just a day before, Ukrainian missiles hit an airfield in Crimea, destroying at least three jets.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had shot down more than 100 Ukrainian drones on Friday, a figure that would represent one of Ukraine’s largest air assaults against Russia in months. A Ukrainian security official said Ukraine was behind the attack.

Although the full extent of the damage was unclear, the Russian authorities reported that an electricity substation was hit in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, leading to rolling blackouts.

Just 70 miles east of Crimea, on Russia’s Black Sea coast, fires broke out at several oil facilities, including in the port of Novorossiysk, which operates an important oil terminal.

Crimea, which Russia illegally seized a decade ago, and nearby Russian Black Sea ports have long been a prime target for the Ukrainian military.

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