A large Russian landing warship in Crimea was struck by cruise missiles launched by Ukraine overnight, killing at least one person, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
The landing ship, called Novocherkassk, was hit at a base in the city of Feodosia by plane-launched guided missiles, the ministry said, and footage posted online shows a huge fireball rising into the night sky as a result of the attack. Further explosions detonating could also be seen as well as fires burning.
In addition to the fatality, four others were injured, according to the RIA news agency, Reuters reported.
The ministry added that two Ukrainian fighter jets were destroyed by anti-aircraft fire during the attack which took place at around 2:50 a.m. local time. It is unclear if the anti-aircraft fire caused injuries.
Exact details about the extent of the damage to the ship were not immediately clear. However, Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said he does not think the Novocherkassk will easily be able to resume its typical operations.
‘We can see how powerful the explosion was, what the detonation was like. After that, it’s very hard for a ship to survive, because this was not a rocket, this is the detonation of munitions,’ he told Radio Free Europe.
Ukraine used cruise missiles in the attack, Ihnat said, according to Reuters. Both Great Britain and France have provided cruise missiles to Kyiv.
A post and an accompanying photo put out by Ukraine’s defense ministry on Tuesday morning claimed the vessel had sunk.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram that his country contributed to Russia’s submarine fleet in damaging the ship.
‘The occupiers will not have a single peaceful place in Ukraine,’ he said.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.