Explosions, smoke seen over Sevastopol shipyard- reports
Sevastopol. Photo: Wikimapia

A series of explosions was heard in Sevastopol in Russian-annexed Crimea on Monday morning, with local occupational authorities claiming that air defence had been deployed.

Krym.Realii, a project of Radio Svoboda, reported that some explosions had been heard in Sevastopol, and a column of smoke was rising over the city’s naval shipyard.

Sevastopol puppet ‘mayor’ Mikhail Razvozhayev posted on Telegram that "the air defence system is working", and the smoke in the area of the Sevastopol shipyard was "camouflage", used to obscure vision for missiles.

He later claimed that "two targets" had been downed over Sevastopol, without specifying which ones.

Updated, 12:53 pm. Russia's defence ministry later claimed that it had prevented "an attempted attack by the Ukrainian army in Crimea" with "eight Storm Shadow cruise missiles", which were all "shot down".

It is not the first time that Russian military targets in Crimea have been hit or targeted.

Ukraine does not immediately confirm it is behind the strikes, but its officials have reiterated that the liberation of the peninsula, illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, is one of Kyiv’s strategic goals.

Ukrainian forces now have long-range capabilities, including Storm Shadow, SCALP, and ATACMS missiles that could in theory reach Crimea.