Russian officials issued an air raid warning in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol in response to further attacks from Ukraine.
Early on November 1, sirens sounded in the city. Traffic on the Crimean bridge connecting the Crimean peninsula to mainland Russia was suspended, as was sea transport.
Ukraine has launched a series of attacks in and around Crimea in recent weeks. Crimea was occupied and annexed by Russia in 2014. Ukrainian forces attacked a Russian air base in Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, as Ukraine sought to weaken Russia’s control of the waters.
Russia on Tuesday accused Ukraine of trying to assassinate pro-Russian politician Oleg Tsarev in Yalta. The Crimean bridge was attacked in July this year.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is trying to wake up his country ahead of what is expected to be a harsh winter campaign amid disappointing results from Ukraine’s much-vaunted counteroffensive.
Ukraine hopes to weaken Russia’s power in the Black Sea and achieve ultimate victory in the war. Zelensky stated at the Crimea Platform meeting on October 24 that Russia’s “illusion” of controlling Crimea and the Black Sea has been shattered.
Zelensky said, “The Russian Black Sea Fleet is no longer able to operate in the western Black Sea and is gradually moving away from Crimea. This is a historic achievement.”
The attacks highlighted Ukraine’s growing capabilities, which include naval drone capabilities. Meanwhile, Russia continues to bomb Ukraine from afar with long-range missiles and attack drones.
Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that a “series of mine-laying and anti-sabotage measures” taken in the Sevastopol Bay successfully intercepted three Ukrainian unmanned boats.
Ukraine said on Wednesday that Russia had shelled more than 100 settlements in the past 24 hours, the highest number of single-day attacks so far in 2023.
“Just a matter of time”
“We do not yet have complete control of Crimea and its surrounding waters, but we will,” Zelensky told participants of the diplomatic initiative gathered in Prague. “It is only a matter of time.”
On Monday, the Ukrainian military claimed to have successfully attacked a Russian air defense base in Crimea using naval drones and missiles.
As the strategy continues and amid a pessimistic analysis of the progress of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, Zelensky sought to inspire his troops and country on Tuesday with a message of patience, perseverance and focus on the ultimate goal.
“We live in a world that quickly gets used to success. When the full-scale invasion began, many people around the world did not believe that Ukraine would survive,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video speech on Tuesday evening Zhong said so.
“Glory goes to those who don’t back down, who don’t grow tired, who still fight for Ukraine as unswervingly as they did on February 24.”