Ukraine claims at least 30 Russians were killed in pre-dawn Crimea raid

The Ukrainian military says that at least 30 Russians were killed in a seaborne raid by Ukrainian special forces against facilities on the western Crimean coast in the early hours of Thursday.

Andriy Yusov, spokesperson for Ukraine's Defense Intelligence, told Ukrainian media outlet Suspilne Crimea that as a result of a special operation of Defense Intelligence and Ukrainian Navy near the village of Mayak in Crimea, four speedboats were damaged and at least 30 Russians were killed.

In an interview Wednesday, the head of Ukrainian Defense Intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said that "now we have the ability to hit any part of the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea — we can reach the enemy absolutely anywhere."

Budanov told Radio Liberty that "there are many options for de-occupying Crimea, but it is impossible without military action."

The attack appears to be one of the Ukrainian armed forces' most complex and ambitious operations to date against Russian military facilities on the Crimean Peninsula.

While there has been no word from Russian-appointed authorities in Crimea on the latest attack, Russian military bloggers have raised questions about the inability of coastal defenses to detect and repel such operations.

The prominent Telegram channel Rybar noted that "during the night, two to four speedboats landed in the Olenivka area on Cape Tarkhankut, conducted demonstrative firing of grenade launchers on camera and departed."

Rybar continued: "This is the second incident in the area of the cape in the last few days. Only recently (Ukrainian forces) conducted a combined attack, which resulted in the destruction of a S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system, and this time they have landed on the shore."

"The activity of the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine) near the Crimean peninsula is getting higher and higher. ... The AFU has been probing the ground near Crimea for several weeks now, looking for loopholes for an amphibious operation," it said.

Referring to other unofficial claims on Russian outlets that up to 20 Ukrainian troops had been killed, Rybar added that "instead of rosy reports, it would be more expedient to do everything possible to suppress such activity. Especially in places where there is a large concentration of civilians."

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