Ukraine Says Explosion in Crimea Destroyed Russian Cruise Missiles

An explosion hit the town of Dzhankoi in Russian-occupied Crimea on Monday, and Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the blast destroyed Russian Kalibr cruise missiles that were being transported by rail.

Kremlin-appointed authorities in Crimea denied the allegation, saying all the drones had been “aimed at civilian objects.”

“One was shot down over the Dzhankoi technical school and fell between the academic building and the dormitory,” Oleg Kryuchkov, an adviser to the Russian-appointed head of Crimea, wrote on the social messaging app Telegram. “There were no military installations nearby.”

Sergei Aksyonov, the Kremlin-installed leader of Crimea, said debris from the blast damaged a house and a shop, injuring one person.

Dzhankoi, a logistics node in northern Crimea, is about 150 miles from the front and is a vulnerability for Russian logistics. A railway that runs through the city and is used to transfer weapons links the peninsula to Russia via a bridge that was badly damaged in an attack in the autumn.

The Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, illegally seized by Russia in 2014, is a crucial military base and a stage for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian warships in the Black Sea have fired cruise missiles at Ukrainian targets sometimes hundreds of miles away, hitting towns and cities and damaging the country’s energy infrastructure.

After a major assault last December, the Russian Defense Ministry released a picture showing a Kalibr cruise missile and a message: “Kalibrs will never run out.”

Ukraine’s military did not claim responsibility for the attacks. Although the government has not publicly acknowledged this, the country has repeatedly attacked military targets in Crimea and other Russian-occupied territories that Moscow now claims as its own, and on infrastructure such as the Kerch Strait bridge linking Crimea with Russia.