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Zelensky vows to keep up pressure on Crimea: "This is historic achievement"


"We have not yet gained full fire control over Crimea and surrounding waters, but we will"

Ukrainian forces will soon have fire control capabilities over Crimea, president Volodymyr Zelensky said as he vowed to keep up military pressure over the Russia-controlled region.

The president on Tuesday claimed that the recent Ukrainian attacks have denied the Russian fleet safe bases and prevented them from securing maritime corridors in the western part of the Black Sea.

Kyiv ramped up strikes on Russian forces in the Black Sea and Crimea which was annexed by Moscow in 2014, as Ukrainian forces pressed on with a nearly five-month-old counteroffensive.

"The Russian (Black Sea) fleet is no longer able to operate in the western part of the Black Sea and is gradually fleeing from Crimea," Mr Zelensky said in a video address to a security conference in Prague that was marred by technical glitches.

"And this is a historic achievement," he added.

Sounds of explosions were reportedly heard near Sevastopol just hours after the Ukrainian president declared his forces would soon have fire control capabilities over the peninsula.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the governor of Sevastopol, confirmed to Newsweek that at least one blast had occurred in the region, while several Crimea-based Telegram channels reported sounds of explosions.

A “powerful explosion” in Sevastopol caused “windows to shake”, Crimea.Realities, a regional news outlet reported.

Smoke rises from the shipyard that was reportedly hit by Ukrainian missile attack in Sevastopol, Crimea

Ukraine has struck a Russian air base on the peninsula, a Black Sea Fleet command post in Sevastopol, and the only bridge linking Crimea to Russia since Moscow's invasion in February 2022.

The attacks have highlighted Kyiv's growing capabilities, which also include naval drones, as Moscow continued bombarding Ukraine from afar with long-range missiles and assault drones.

"We have not yet gained full fire control over Crimea and surrounding waters, but we will," Mr Zelensky told a meeting of the Crimea Platform, a diplomatic initiative he launched in 2021. "This is a question of time."
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