Ukrainian sea drones attacked a major naval base in Russia on Friday, leaving a damaged Russian warship tilting in the Black Sea in a brazen strike carried out hundreds of miles from Ukrainian-held territory.
A Ukrainian source told CNN that a sea drone carrying nearly 1,000 pounds of TNT hit the vessel – and claimed there were about 100 Russian service members aboard.
The incident comes against the backdrop of rising tensions in the Black Sea and stepped-up Ukrainian strikes against targets across Russia after President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged to “return” the war to Russian territory.
Early Saturday, Russian media reported that a tanker was attacked in the Kerch Strait and that tugboats were at the scene to tow the vessel. Ukraine has not yet commented, and CNN has not been able to independently verify the claims.
Here are more developments:
Navalny sentencing: Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was sentenced to 19 years in prison after being found guilty on extremism charges, a court within the high-security prison where he is being held, said on Friday, according to Russian state media TASS. This latest verdict is a fresh blow to a fierce critic of Russia’s President Putin that comes amid a worsening climate triggered by the Ukraine war. According to the UN rights chief, Volker Türk, the prison sentence raises “serious concerns” about judicial harassment in Russia.
Wagner threat: Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński said “the threat is very real” from Belarus, arguing that Wagner Group soldiers have made attempts to infiltrate Polish territory. He told CNN that the government was weighing whether to close the border with Belarus, a close Russian ally.
Zaporizhzhia developments: The International Atomic Energy Agency said it has found no evidence of mines or explosives on the rooftops of reactors at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, as had been speculated after the publication of satellite images of the plant. Russian forces have occupied the plant and the surrounding area since the early days of the invasion.
Official meetings: Saudi Arabia is set to host peace talks on Ukraine this weekend that will include the US as well as a number of Western and developing countries. Meanwhile, US Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie met with Zelensky during a trip to Ukraine on Friday. The former New Jersey governor also visited battle-torn areas of Moshchun and Bucha. Related Today in History: October 4, Soviets launch Sputnik