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Ukraine attack destroyed Russian air defense system near Crimea’s Yevpatoriya: Source

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Ukraine struck Russian air defense systems near the town of Yevpatoriya in the west of occupied Crimea in a long-range overnight attack on Thursday, the Ukrainian military said.

Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement that its air defenses had shot down 11 drones overnight over the peninsula, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014. It made no mention of any damage.

A video circulated on social media showed powerful explosions and a plume of smoke rising in the night sky illuminated by a blaze. Reuters could not immediately verify the video.

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A Ukrainian intelligence source told Reuters the attack destroyed a “Triumf” air defense system in a joint operation of the Security Service of Ukraine and navy.

First, the source said, drones blinded the air defense system by attacking its radar and antenna, before two Ukrainian-made Neptune cruise missiles were fired at the system’s launchers. Ukraine has modified the Neptune anti-ship missile to attack ground targets, military analysts say.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the account.

The attack comes a day after Ukraine launched missiles at the Crimean port of Sevastopol, home to the Russian navy's Black Sea Fleet, in an attack that signaled Ukraine’s growing missile capabilities.

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