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Russia jet crushes Ukraine spy boat, intercepts 4 more drones: Defense Ministry

Russian Sukhoi Su-30 jet fighters land on a runway at the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia in 2015. (File photo by AFP)

A Russian warplane has destroyed a Ukrainian "reconnaissance boat" in the Black Sea as its air defense forces thwarted attempts by four more drones to attack Moscow, its defense ministry declared.

"Tonight, the crew of the Su-30cm naval aviation of the Black Sea Fleet destroyed a reconnaissance boat of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the area of Russian gas production facilities in the Black Sea," the ministry said in Tuesday post on its official Telegram channel.

The statement, however, did not elaborate on the type of boat destroyed or the precise location of the incident.

The development comes as Russian military authorities have asserted recently that they have thwarted a series of Ukrainian sea drone raids against its ships in the Black Sea.

Attacks by both warring sides have escalated in the Black Sea since Russia pulled out of a deal that had allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain through the shipping hub, citing Kiev’s repeated drone attacks on its naval assets in the area near Crimea, which joined the Russian Federation in 2014 following a referendum the overwhelmingly supported the idea.

According to Moscow's defense ministry, Russian ships were also targeted by a Ukrainian naval drone attack on Thursday evening.

Four more Ukraine drones targeting Moscow intercepted

The Russian Defense Ministry separately announced on Tuesday that the “Kiev regime” further unleashed four drones aiming to strike Moscow on Tuesday, insisting that all of them were intercepted.

"Earlier today, the Kiev regime’s attempt to carry out a terrorist attack using drones was foiled," the ministry said in a statement.

"Two drones, which were detected by air defense facilities on duty and suppressed by electronic warfare systems, crashed over the territory of the Bryansk Region [in west Russia]," it emphasized. "The other two drones were detected and destroyed by air defenses above the territory of the Moscow Region."

"No casualties occurred as a result of these foiled terrorist attacks," the ministry further noted as quoted in a report by Russia’s TASS news agency.

The report also cited Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin as stating in a Telegram post earlier in the day that Russia’s air defense forces had shot down two strike drones approaching Moscow in the early hours of Tuesday.

The mayor further noted that one drone was downed near Krasnogorsk, a satellite city adjacent to the northwestern boundary of Moscow, and another crashed near the settlement of Chastsy west of Moscow.

In recent weeks, Ukraine has ramped up its attempts to target Moscow with drone strikes, which have been mostly unsuccessful.

Ukraine, after a long delay, began its widely publicized counteroffensives in early June which has so far proved to be a major failure, suffering the loss of thousands of its troops in the process.

Moscow has frequently warned that a continued supply of Western arms and military equipment for the Ukrainian military would only prolong the war.

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