March 5, 2024

Russian warship destroyed in Black Sea, Ukraine’s military says

The Ukrainian armed forces claimed on Tuesday to have destroyed a Russian warship close to the Crimean peninsula, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

Military spokesman Andriy Yusov said the “Sergey Kotov,” a “Project 22160” class Russian patrol boat, had been damaged by a previous Ukrainian attack, likely in September 2023, but was destroyed overnight by “Magura V5” naval drones.

Ukrainian military intelligence said the vessel had suffered “damage to the stern, starboard and port sides” in the Kerch Strait, the narrow waterway that separates Crimea from the Russian mainland peninsula of Taman, and links the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.

“As for the crew, the details are being clarified,” Yusov told Ukrainian media. “There are dead and wounded. But it is likely that some of the crew managed to evacuate.”

There was no immediate response from Russia and the reports could not be independently verified.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy‘s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said that Russia’s Black Sea fleet is “a symbol of the occupation,” adding that, “it cannot be in Ukraine’s Crimea.”

Despite having no sizeable navy, Ukraine has nevertheless achieved some significant successes in the Black Sea using drones and missiles. Several Russian warships have been sunk or damaged, including the “Moskva,” the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet which was sunk just two months after the launch of the full-scale invasion in February 2022.

In September, Ukraine used Franco-British-supplied Storm Shadow/SCALP missiles to launch a strike on the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, forcing Russian vessels to relocate further east.


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