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A Western official claimed attacks on Russian bases and ammunition depots in annexed Crimea had a “significant psychological effect on Russian leaders” in the Kremlin, a report said.

The base of Russia’s elite Black Sea Fleet in the occupied Crimean peninsula was attacked by a drone on Saturday morning.

Reports said an explosion rocked Crimea on Saturday morning, with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) hitting the Black Sea Fleet HQ in Sevastopol.

Huge plumes of smoke were filmed rising from the city of Sevastopol, where the Russian naval HQ is based.

This caused a colossal exodus of panicked residents from the city, as even Russian strongholds came under attack amid its stalled war with Ukraine.

One official said: “Ukraine is now consistently achieving kinetic effects far behind Russian lines.

“We have seen this in at least three cases in occupied Crimea, an area that Russia previously viewed as a secure base area playing a major role in activating the occupation.

“The incidents had a material effect on Russia’s logistical support, but equally important, there is a significant psychological effect on Russian leadership.”

Christi C. Elwood