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UK Defense Ministry: Train derailed near Simferopol, blocking rail to Russian navy base in occupied Crimea
Possible sabotage led to a train derailing near Simferopol in Russian-occupied Crimea on May 18, effectively blocking the only rail connection to the base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its latest intelligence update.
“Russia will move to repair the line quickly, but the incident will disrupt deliveries of supplies and potentially also weaponry, such as Kalibr cruise missiles,” to the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the ministry wrote.
According to the report, Russian railway authorities claimed the incident was a result of "interference by outsiders.”
A successful attack in Russia’s rear puts its ability to defend Crimea’s key infrastructure into doubt.
This incident is only the most recent in the string of attacks against targets on the occupied peninsula.
Russian proxies reported Ukrainian drone attacks in Sevastopol on May 1.
On April 29, a large fire occurred at an oil depot in the city. Ukraine’s military described it as part of preparations for a counteroffensive to retake Crimea.
It appears Russia grows increasingly worried about a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive aimed at retaking the Crimean peninsula. Maxar’s satellite images revealed increased efforts by the occupying forces in preparing defensive positions.
Russia has occupied Crimea illegally since February 2014, following the EuroMaidan Revolution that ousted then pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych.