The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Sept. 22 that a Ukrainian missile strike on Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea damaged the building of Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters.
According to the ministry, one Russian serviceman went missing following the strike. Russian air defenses shot down five missiles over Sevastopol, it added.
Several hours later, the Ukrainian military's Strategic Communications Directorate confirmed the missile strike without providing further details.
Ukraine's Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk published a video showing the aftermath of the missile strike, thanking Ukrainian pilots.
"Sevastopol is the city of the Naval Forces of Ukraine's Armed Forces! Together - to victory!", Oleshchuk said on Telegram.
Mikhail Razvozhaev, the head of Sevastopol's illegal Russian occupation government, first reported the missile strike on the fleet headquarters. Razvozhaev claimed that, as a result of the air defense work, missile debris allegedly fell near a local theater that lies next to Sevastopol Bay.
Later, Razvozhaev said that civilian infrastructure was not damaged and there were no casualties among civilians. First responders are still trying to extinguish the fire at the fleet headquarters, he added.
Several explosions were heard in the port city of Sevastopol at around 1 p.m. Kyiv time, Ukrainian media outlet Suspilne Crimea reported, citing residents.
Earlier the same day, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that its forces shot down a Ukrainian guided missile and two drones over Crimea’s west coast at about 10:30 a.m. Moscow time.
The Kyiv Independent couldn’t verify any of those claims.
During the first attack, Russian forces deployed a smoke screen over Sevastopol Bay, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, local Telegram channels reported. Sevastopol is located on the peninsula's southern shore.
According to local channels, Russian occupation authorities also temporarily suspended the sea transport movement and blocked the traffic on the Crimean Bridge.
In recent days, Russia and Ukraine have experienced intensified attacks deep behind the front line, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its latest intelligence update.
Russia resumed its attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, launching a massive missile strike overnight on Sept. 21, killing and injuring civilians.
Meanwhile, explosions were reported at Russian logistics sites, air bases, and command posts in occupied Crimea, Russia's Krasnodar region, and near Moscow.
Sources in Ukraine's Security Service told Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform that Ukraine launched an overnight attack on the Saky Air Base in Crimea on Sept. 21, seriously damaging Russian equipment.
“With the ground battle relatively static, each side is seeking advantage by striking through their adversary’s strategic depth,” reads the British intelligence update.