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Crimea vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks: Kremlin

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The Kremlin said Thursday it was vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks on the Crimean Peninsula after the Russian military downed a drone near its largest city.

“There are certainly risks because the Ukrainian side continues its policy of organizing terrorist attacks. But, on the other hand, information we get indicates that effective countermeasures are being taken,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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Russia earlier Thursday said it had shot down a drone over the Black Sea near Sevastopol, which is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and hosts a key Russian naval base.

“As per usual our military carried out its work well,” said the governor of the Sevastopol administrative region, Mikhail Razvozhayev.

The peninsula was annexed by Russia in 2014 after a so-called referendum that Ukraine and the West never recognized.

The Russian military used Crimea as one of its launching pads for its military intervention in Ukraine on February 24 and it has been regularly attacked by drones.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol was targeted last month by a “massive” drone attack that Moscow blamed on Ukraine.

The shooting down of the drone on Thursday came after a series of attacks deep in Russia -- including the Engels airfield, a strategic bomber military base -- for which Ukraine has not claimed responsibility.

Separately, the Russian security services (FSB) arrested two people accused of spying for Ukraine on Crimea and accused them of “treason,” the agency’s press service said Thursday.

The FSB “halted the illegal activities of two Russian citizens suspected of committing high treason in the form of spying in the interests of the Security Service of Ukraine,” it said in a statement.

One of those detained is “a supporter of Ukrainian nationalist ideology and was recruited by the Ukrainian secret services in 2016,” the statement said.

He is suspected of “transferring data on the location of Russia’s defense ministry facilities to a foreign security agency, which could be used against Russia’s security.”

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