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MOSCOW: Russia air defence forces shot down two Ukrainian missiles over a bridge connecting Moscow-annexed Crimea to the Russian mainland, an official said on Saturday.

“Air defence forces shot down two enemy missiles over the Kerch Strait. The Crimean bridge was not damaged,” Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-installed governor of the Crimean peninsula, said on social media.

He urged locals to remain calm.

Pictures on social media showed columns of smoke rising in the vicinity of the bridge.

Russia says it destroys 20 Ukrainian drones over Crimea

In a separate statement, the Russian defence ministry said that the Kyiv regime attempted to strike the Crimean bridge with an S-200 anti-aircraft guided missile.

The missile was detected and intercepted by Russian air defence systems, the ministry said, adding that there were no victims or damage.

Earlier Saturday, Russia said that its forces shot down 20 unmanned Ukrainian drones near the Crimean peninsula where Kyiv has stepped up attacks.

Fourteen drones were downed by air defence systems and six more through electronic warfare, the defence ministry said.

Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, has been targeted by Kyiv throughout Moscow’s Ukraine offensive but has come under more intense, increased attacks in recent weeks.

Kyiv has repeatedly said it plans to take Crimea back and has also targeted the Crimean bridge, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pet projects.

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