Ukraine says destroyed Russian warship on Black Sea

Ukraine claimed Tuesday that its forces had destroyed a Russian military patrol boat on the Black Sea near the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia 10 years ago.

The strategic waterway has become an increasingly important battleground as Ukrainian forces claim a string of attacks on Moscow's fleet.

Ukraine's military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov said the ship had been hit previously but was destroyed after the overnight attack by maritime drones.

"As for the crew, the details are being clarified. There are dead and wounded. But it is likely that some of the crew managed to evacuate," he told Ukrainian media.

There was no official response from the Russian defence ministry.

Ukraine's military intelligence said earlier that their drones struck the ship near the Kerch Strait, causing "damage to the stern, starboard and port sides."

The Ukrainian president's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said that Russia's Black Sea fleet is "a symbol of the occupation," adding that, "it cannot be in Ukraine's Crimea".

Ukraine's air force said earlier Tuesday it had downed 18 of 22 Iranian-designed attack drones launched by Russia over the Black Sea port city of Odesa.

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