According to multiple sources, Ukraine launched an attack with drones on Russian-occupied Crimea late in the evening on the evening of 15 December.
Local social media communities shared reports of Russian anti-aircraft defenses actively working around Armiansk in northern occupied Crimea, Sevastopol, including the Kacha airfield, Dzhankoi, and in western Crimea between Chornomorske and Bezvodne. Later, Sevastopol’s occupation governor Mikhail Razvozhaev announced that anti-aircraft defenses were operating over the sea.
Ukraine launches drone attack on multiple sites in occupied Crimea
Sites in Sevastopol, western, northern & central Crimea, including a miltiary airfield near Sevastopol, were attacked overnighthttps://t.co/9XBLNXgoEU
🎥 Air defense near Chornomorske, WCrimea/Krymskyi Veter pic.twitter.com/REmgjHG5BY
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) December 16, 2023
Russia’s Ministry of Defense has claimed shooting down 32 drones over occupied Crimea between 20:30 and 22:30 on 15 December. Per the Russians, 26 Ukrainian drones were destroyed over the peninsula. The Russian MoD later added that around midnight, Ukrainian kamikaze drones again allegedly targeted assets in Crimea, with anti-aircraft defenses purportedly intercepting another 6 UAVs.
Natalia Humeniuk, head of the Joint Coordination Press Center of Ukraine’s Southern Defense Forces, confirmed Ukraine was behind the drone attack. She noted that Russian anti-aircraft defenses in Crimea are insufficient to cover the whole territory, so the Russians have to constantly move them around to try protecting various positions and assets. “We’ve made many holes there that they now need to plug by maneuvering their anti-aircraft weapons systems in different directions…Trying to find the best locations to protect themselves as well as what they are protecting,” she summarized.
Occupied Crimea is a major platform for Russia’s war against Ukraine, serving as a hub for troops and supplies for operations in southern Ukraine. Recently, Russia started using the Balaklava district in occupied Crimea as its fifth launch site of Shahed kamikaze drone attacks on Ukraine.