Ukraine says it has sunk another warship, disabling a third of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet

Ukraine says it has sunk another warship, disabling a third of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet

Ukraine has claimed another significant blow against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, asserting that it has disabled a third of the fleet through a sea drone attack that sank a Russian warship off the coast of Crimea on Wednesday. According to Ukrainian military intelligence, the landing ship Caesar Kunikov was targeted with “MAGURA” V5 drones, resulting in critical damage to its left side and ultimately causing it to sink. This attack marks the latest in a series of strikes by Ukraine on Russia’s navy as it attempts to undermine Russian forces that annexed Crimea in 2014.

The recent strike aligns with Ukrainian assertions made last week that they had disabled approximately 33% of Russia’s warships, amounting to 24 disabled ships and one submarine. With the sinking of the Caesar Kunikov, this tally rises to 25 disabled vessels according to Ukrainian estimates. The attack was carried out by Ukraine’s “Group 13” special forces unit in collaboration with the country’s security and defense forces, underscoring Ukraine’s commitment to leveraging innovative tactics in its conflict with Russia.

Footage provided by Ukraine depicts the sea drone approaching the Caesar Kunikov before the vessel is enveloped in smoke, indicating the intensity of the attack. The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine revealed that the ship had been stationed at a specialized berthing location, presumably for reloading with weapons and military equipment, at the time of the assault. This strike underscores Ukraine’s strategic shift towards targeting the Black Sea, aiming to isolate Crimea and disrupt Russian military operations on the Ukrainian mainland.

In response to inquiries about the incident, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov deferred to the Ministry of Defense, emphasizing the military’s authority on matters concerning the ongoing conflict. The attack comes amid an increasingly assertive stance from Ukraine, which has sought to utilize drones to gain a tactical advantage over Russian forces. The MAGURA drones employed in the attack are compact yet possess a significant operational range, allowing for precise strikes against Russian targets.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg praised Ukraine’s ability to inflict heavy losses on the Russian Black Sea Fleet, highlighting the significance of Ukraine’s efforts in challenging Russian aggression. Stoltenberg also noted that Ukraine’s armed forces have successfully opened a corridor for exporting commodities to the world market, showcasing the resilience and capability of Ukrainian forces in the face of adversity. As Ukraine continues to deploy innovative tactics, including the use of drones, it remains committed to defending its sovereignty and countering Russian aggression in the region.