Ukraine is celebrating the destruction of a shipment of Russian “Kalibr” cruise missiles in Crimea.
The Ukrainian defense ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) said in a release on Monday that an “explosion” took out a number of missiles being transported by rail in the “temporarily occupied” northern Crimea settlement of Dzhankoy.
The release went on to say that the “mysterious” explosion “continues the process of Russia’s demilitarization and prepares the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea for deoccupation.”
Ukraine had not confirmed any additional details on the purported incident, including potential casualties or how the missiles were destroyed, at the time of publication.
A Ukrainian soldier is pictured gesturing near Bakhmut, Ukraine, on March 11, 2023. The Ukrainian military on Monday celebrated the destruction of Russian cruise missiles being transported in occupied Crimea.
Igor Ivin, the Russia-aligned mayor of Dzhankoy, said that the explosion was caused by a “a suicide-drone attack,” according to independent Russian media outlet Meduza.
Russian state media agency TASS reported that a 33-year-old man had been injured by shrapnel and hospitalized as a result of the attack, citing a Russian television interview with Ivin, who reportedly said multiple drones were involved and debris from the drones had been discovered in two different streets. He added that “several facilities” had been damaged during the attack, including a grocery store and a private home.
U.K. military intelligence said last year that Dzhankoy was home to one of “the most important Russian military airfields in Crimea,” while also being “a key road and rail junction that plays an important role in supplying Russia’s operations in southern Ukraine.”
Kalibr missiles, in service since 1994, are one of Russia’s most important long-range weapons and have been launched during its invasion of Ukraine from ships in Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
The Russian Ministry of Defense boasted in a Telegram message that it would “never run out” of Kalibr missiles after launching a salvo in December.
However, Estonian intelligence official Margo Grosberg said in January that Russia would deplete the missiles within months. Grosberg was not alone in expressing skepticism about the robustness of Russian supplies.
This month, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said in a tweet that Russia was “running out” of its outdated weapons stockpile.
GUR spokesperson Andriy Yusov said in a statement on Monday that the Russian “missile blitzkrieg has failed,” claiming that Moscow could no longer afford to use its dwindling supplies of Kalibr, Iskander and Kinzhal missiles.
Ukraine also celebrated the destruction of another Russian missile on Monday while announcing that French “Crotale NG” air defense systems, which were supplied by France last year, had entered service.
“French short-range air defense system ‘Crotale NG’ is in service with the #UAarmy,” the Ukrainian defense ministry tweeted while sharing a video of the system in action. “Two launches targeting a russian cruise missile First one: missed the target. Second one: Goooal!”