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Russia Downs 10 Ukraine-launched ATACMS missiles over Crimea

The Russian defence ministry said on Wednesday that its air forces destroyed 10 long-range missiles known as ATACMS that Ukraine’s military launched overnight at Crimea.

The ministry did not say in its statement on the Telegram messaging app whether there was any damage as a result of the attack. Still, the Russia-installed governor of the Crimean port of Sevastopol said that missile debris fell onto a residential area.

According to preliminary information, no one was injured , Mikhail Razvozhayev, the governor, said on his Telegram messaging channel.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine 10 years ago in a move broadly condemned by Kyiv’s Western allies.

Russia has recently often said, without providing evidence, that Ukraine had started using the U.S-supplied Army Tactical Missile Systems or ATACMS.

A U.S. official said on Tuesday that ATACMS and air defence interceptors approved by President Joe Biden on April 24 were already reaching the Ukrainian forces.

The Russian defence ministry said also that nine attack drones and several other Ukraine-launched pieces of air weapons were destroyed over the Belgorod region.

It added that five attack drones were also destroyed over Russia’s Kursk region and three over the Bryansk region.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.

Both Ukraine and Russia say they do not target civilians in the war which erupted when Russia invaded its smaller neighbour in February of 2022, which Moscow has called a “special military operation”.

The war has killed thousands, displaced millions and turned Ukrainian cities into rubble.

Kyiv says that targeting Russia’s military, transport and energy infrastructure undermines Moscow’s war effort and is an answer to the countless deadly attacks by Russia.

Separately, the governor of the Belgorod region in Russia’s southwest on the border with Ukraine, said that two people were injured there in a fresh Kyiv attack that also damaged a power line, several houses and cars.

Ukraine’s attacks on Belgorod, which lies across from the battered region of Kharkiv where Russian forces are making advances, have increased in recent weeks and according to Russia are more deadly.

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