Russia claimed on Tuesday morning to have “destroyed” a Ukrainian reconnaissance vessel in the Black Sea, the latest maritime skirmish since Moscow slammed the door of an agreement which allowed the export of Ukrainian cereals.
For the fifth day in a row, the Russian Defense also said it had shot down Ukrainian drones in the Moscow region.
Overnight Monday-Tuesday, a Russian Black Sea Fleet fighter jet “destroyed a reconnaissance vessel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces” which was in a gas production area under Russian control, the report said. Russian Ministry of Defense on Telegram.
He also announced Monday evening the destruction of two drones off Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed in 2014 by Russia.
Attacks in the Black Sea were, for almost a year, relatively few, allowing the implementation of an agreement for Ukraine to export its agricultural production, essential to world food security.
But Moscow withdrew in July from this arrangement under the aegis of the UN and Turkey, multiplying since the bombardments of the Ukrainian port infrastructures at sea and on the Danube.
Ukraine has targeted with marine or aerial drones the Russian fleet, an oil tanker or even the bridges leading to Crimea and making it possible to supply Russian troops.
Kiev has also defied Russian threats to sink cargo ships leaving its ports, organizing a maritime corridor for the “Joseph Schulte”, a ship which reached Turkey last week without being attacked by Russia. It remains to be seen whether Ukraine will manage to sustain such maritime routes.
The targeted Moscow region
Russia is continuing its campaign of bombing Ukraine, always claiming to aim for military targets but killing civilians every day. Tuesday, the funeral of victims of a strike on a theater in Cherniguiv are thus planned.
Russian territory is increasingly targeted by drones attributed to Ukraine. Early Tuesday, for the fifth day in a row, two craft were shot down in the skies of the Moscow region. No casualties have been identified.
On Tuesday morning, police in Krasnogorsk, northwest of the Russian capital, cordoned off the perimeter near debris lying on the ground, according to an AFP photographer at the scene, where several windows of a building appear broken.
Moscow’s Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo international airports briefly had to halt arrivals and departures.
At the end of July and beginning of August, aircraft had been destroyed above the business district of Moscow causing slight damage to the facade of two towers. In May, two drones were shot down over the Kremlin.
Military sites were also targeted.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed at the end of July that “the war is coming to Russian territory”.
The Russian regions bordering Ukraine are regularly targeted by artillery fire or brief armed incursions.
On the front, Ukraine continues its offensive to try to liberate the occupied south and east of the country.
Putin absent from BRICS summit
After more than two months, gains remain limited, with Ukrainian forces attacking lines the Russians fortified for months while Kiev waited for supplies of Western weapons needed for its attack.
A sign of the fierceness of the fighting, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense indicated on Tuesday that its 47e brigade had entered, after weeks of fighting, the village of Robotyne. But the locality is not therefore under control.
“The battle continues,” said Deputy Minister Ganna Maliar.
On the diplomatic front, Volodymyr Zelensky has made a mini-European tour in recent days (Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark) to obtain new assistance and participate in a Balkan summit in Greece.
After the green light from the United States, The Hague and Copenhagen decided to send Ukraine 61 F-16 fighter jets, aircraft that kyiv has been crying out for for months.
Vladimir Putin, under an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC), has given up on going to South Africa at the summit of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa ) which opens on Tuesday, an organization that Moscow sees as a counterpart to Western influence.
To avoid embarrassing the South African government, the Russian president will intervene by videoconference. His head of diplomacy Sergei Lavrov will be there.