Russians Plunged into Darkness After Monster Drone Attack

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Ukraine launched a massive drone attack against military and energy facilities in Russia and the occupied peninsula Crimea overnight, with Moscow saying Friday that over 100 unmanned weapons had been involved in the operation.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed its forces had intercepted and destroyed 102 UAVs over four different regions while another six drone boats were taken out in the Black Sea. While the ministry did not reveal the extent of the damage from the attack, multiple explosions were reported in the Russian city of Novorossiysk and the Kremlin-backed governor of Sevastopol said a substation was damaged and the power supply was disrupted.

Russia Suffers One of Its Most Deadly Attacks of the War

A source from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) told the Kyiv Independent that the assault was a joint operation conducted by the SBU and Ukraine’s military intelligence. “Today’s operation proved that the Russians are unable to protect their main naval bases in Sevastopol and Novorossiysk,” the source said.

Residents in Novorossiysk in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai region said local oil infrastructure was attacked and shared videos online in which blasts can be heard and air defenses are seen operating. Krasnodar Krai Governor Veniamin Kondratyev said 10 drones were shot down, creating “local fires” but not causing any casualties, according to preliminary information. “I ask Novorossiysk residents to remain calm and not post photos and videos of the operation of our air defense systems on social networks,” he wrote on Telegram.

Mikhail Razvozhaev, the governor of Sevastopol, separately claimed that debris from “downed UAVs fell on the substation,” leading to a partial blackout. Early Friday, he said that the power outages would last “about a day” while workers restore the power grid. He later announced the cancellation of classes in “all schools, secondary vocational education institutions and kindergartens,” and said the city would take measures to save energy during the repairs. That included the cancelation of trolleybus services and keeping lights in the city and shopping centers off.

Ukraine has been attacking infrastructure and military targets on Russian soil for the past few months. Kyiv is currently also dealing with a major new Russian offensive launched earlier this month in Ukraine’s northeastern territory, sparking fears that Kharkiv—Ukraine’s second-largest city—could soon fall.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters during a visit to China that his assaults on the Kharkiv region were launched in response to Ukrainian shelling on Russia’s Belgorod region. “I have said publicly that if it continues, we will be forced to create a security zone, a sanitary zone,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “That’s what we are doing.”

Putin also said that, for the moment, there are no plans to capture the city of Kharkiv.

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