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Kyiv says Russia is hunting for Ukrainian warplanes used in Crimea strikes

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Kyiv said on Friday a Russian drone attack overnight on a region that hosts a Ukrainian military airfield showed Moscow was searching for warplanes involved in strikes this week on Russian-occupied Crimea.

Ukraine’s air force said Russia had fired 17 “kamikaze” drones at the central Khmelnytskyi region that is home to the Starokostiantyniv air base, which has been attacked repeatedly during the war. In a statement, it said it downed all of them.

Debris damaged 12 homes and shattered windows in a school, but no one was hurt, regional official Serhiy Tiurin said.

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“Khmelnytskyi region was attacked. We understand what the enemy is looking for: where the command has hidden our bombers after the events that happened recently in the sea near Crimea,” Air Force Colonel Yuriy Ihnat said in televised comments.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine nearly 19 months ago, did not immediately comment on his remarks.

Ukraine said it conducted a missile strike on a shipyard in Crimea’s port of Sevastopol early on Wednesday, and that it seriously damaged two naval vessels.

Kyiv has not said which missiles were used. Sky News reported that British-supplied Storm Shadows cruise missiles fired by Ukrainian warplanes were involved in the operation.

Russia seized and annexed the strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

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