KYIV (Reuters) – Ukrainian media outlets quoted intelligence sources as saying explosions reported in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Sunday were due to a joint operation by its forces but a Moscow-installed official said Russia’s enemies were trying to claim false victory.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-installed governor of Sevastopol, home to Russian’s Black Sea Fleet, said on Telegram that everything was calm in his city, the largest in Crimea. He also said no damage was done when Russian air defences brought down three Ukrainian drones in the area on Sunday.
Razvozhayev said that if people saw smoke in the South Bay area it was due to harmless aerosol camouflage being used by the Black Sea Fleet. “Our enemies today will try with all their might to pass it off as a ‘victory,'” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Reuters could not independently verify accounts of events on the peninsula, including explosions reported in Sevastopol by Telegram accounts which Ukrainian media quoted intelligence sources as saying were due to a joint operation by Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence and the country’s Navy.
“The planned work of the GUR and Navy continues,” the Ukrainska Pravda news site quoted an unnamed intelligence source as saying.
The website of the Suspilne public broadcaster, which quoted unnamed intelligence sources as giving a similar account, also said a marine radio engineering unit and radio engineering station with 12 radar antennas were based at Cape Fiolent, a landmark on Crimea’s southern coast near Sevastopol.
(Reporting by Nick Starkov in Kyiv and Elaine Monaghan in Washington; Writing by Elaine Monaghan; Editing by Sandra Maler)