Ukraine launches major attack against Russian base in Crimea

Ukraine has launched a major attack on a Russian naval base in occupied Crimea.

At 1am on Thursday, the Ukrainian armed forces struck targets near the Kerch Bridge with precision-guided missiles.

A Russian Mangust patrol boat was destroyed in the attack, a Ukrainian military source has told Sky News.

The source confirmed Western-supplied weapons were used and said they "proved extremely effective against this Russian military target despite high concentrations of Russian Air Defence Systems".

Nikolai Lukashenko, Crimea's Russian-installed transportation chief, said on Telegram that Ukraine's overnight attack damaged two transport ferries.

The Kerch Bridge links Russia and Crimea over the Kerch Strait and is regularly used by Moscow as a logistics hub to resupply its forces.

It was built in 2018 after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea four years earlier.

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Ukraine has launched frequent attacks on the crossing since the war began and in July last year, Kyiv attacked it with two suicide sea drones, damaging a span of the road bridge.

The explosions killed two civilians and injured another. Ukraine later formally admitted to launching the attack.

South of the Kerch Strait, Ukraine has wreaked havoc in the Black Sea - despite the fact it does not have a traditional navy.

Kyiv has been using sea drones and missiles to attack Russia's fleet and last month Ukraine claimed Russia had almost abandoned Crimea.

Ukraine's forces claim to have sunk a third of Russia's warships in just over two years of war, in a heavy blow to Moscow's naval capabilities.

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Ukrainian navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk said: "There is, of course, some stock of ships remaining, but the most valuable assets are all removed.

"Our ultimate goal is complete absence of military ships of the so-called Russian Federation in the Azov and Black Sea regions."