Russian navy ship 'destroyed' off Crimea, as Britain claims 20% of Kremlin's Black Sea fleet knocked out

26 December 2023, 12:02 | Updated: 26 December 2023, 12:06

The strike on the landing ship Novocherkassk has been confirmed by both Russia and Ukraine
The strike on the landing ship Novocherkassk has been confirmed by both Russia and Ukraine. Picture: Telegram

By Kit Heren

Britain has claimed that one-fifth of Russia's Black Sea fleet has been incapacitated after Ukraine said it had destroyed an enemy ship off Crimea.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Ukraine said the landing ship Novocherkassk was destroyed by plane-launched guided missiles while sitting near the city of Feodosia, officials said.

One person is said to have been killed and two more injured in the air strike.

Russia said the ship was damaged and claimed that two Ukrainian fighter jets were destroyed by anti-aircraft fire during the attack.

It comes after the British Ministry of Defence said earlier this month that the UK would lead a new maritime capability coalition alongside Norway to increase support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Britain's Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said after the ship was destroyed: "This latest destruction of Putin's navy demonstrates that those who believe there's a stalemate in the Ukraine war are wrong!

"They haven't noticed that over the past 4 months 20% of Russia's Black Sea Fleet has been destroyed.

"Russia's dominance in the Black Sea is now challenged and the new UK & Norway led Maritime Capability Coalition is helping to ensure Ukraine will win at sea."

Over recent months, Ukrainian forces have conducted attacks around Crimea, mostly with sea drones, and President Volodymyr Zelensky says those attacks have allowed Ukraine to restore navigation in the Black Sea and allowing the export of millions of tons of grain.

Read more: The war in Ukraine isn’t improving, the world is simply choosing to move on...

Read more: UK transfers two minehunter ships to Ukraine to counter Russian blockade and open up Black Sea trade routes

The Novocherkassk ship several years before it was attacked
The Novocherkassk ship several years before it was attacked. Picture: Getty

Videos on Ukrainian social media channels showed an extensive fire in the port area.

"The Russian fleet has become smaller," Ukrainian air force Commander Mykola Oleschuk said in a mocking message on the Telegram app.

He urged Russians to leave Crimea - which Moscow annexed in 2014 - "while it's not too late".

The air force did not say whether any of its planes were shot down in the attack.

A summary from the Ukrainian presidential office on Tuesday said Russia had launched 18 drones against the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, 13 of which were shot down, over the past day.

The remaining drones caused infrastructure damage but no casualties were reported, the summary said.

it comes after the UK transferred two minehunter ships to Ukraine to help counteract the Russian blockade in the Black Sea.

The two Sandown Class mine countermeasures vessels will help Ukrainian ships find explosives left by the Russians in the sea, a move that would allow Kyiv to increase exports in the Black Sea trade route.

British intelligence sources warned in October that Russia could use sea mines against civilian ships.

The maritime coalition will deliver long-term support, including training, equipment and infrastructure to boost security in the Black Sea, Britain said.

Ukraine and Russia had previously agreed to a deal that allowed Kyiv to export food products through the Black Sea, but Russia pulled out in July.

Vladimir Putin's government said afterwards that ships near Ukrainian ports would be considered potential supporters of Kyiv's war efforts.

Ukraine set up a "humanitarian corridor" across the sea to its ports in response. Several NATO members, including Turkey, also border the Black Sea.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Police rammed the cow

Owner of cow rammed by police gives update on its condition and says officers should be fired for 'disgusting' incident

Police at the scene after officers shot a man threatening football fans in Hamburg

Police shoot man brandishing 'axe and molotov cocktail' near Euro 2024 fan zone hosting 40,000 supporters

Labour's Wes Streeting has called for a debate with Nigel Farage

Labour's Wes Streeting calls for debate with Nigel Farage to take on 'toxic rhetoric' in 'battle of ideas'

Prince William's children have sent him a Father's Day message

'We love you papa': George, Charlotte and Louis send Prince William Father's Day message in first social media post

Labour and the Conservatives would leave the NHS 'worse off than under austerity', the Nuffield Trust has warned

Labour and Tories would leave NHS 'worse off' than under austerity, health think tank warns

Exclusive
Mark Harper has admitted there is a 'hard fight ahead' for the Conservatives to win the election

Minister admits 'hard fight ahead' as poll suggests 'Tory extinction' - but says no deal to be done with Farage

William and Charles have shared Father's Day messages

Prince William sends touching Father's Day message to Charles with new photo, as King also shares childhood video

Labour and the Conservatives will face off in the July 4 election

Labour landslide could see Tories winning just 72 seats, poll finds, as Rishi Sunak's party faces 'electoral extinction'

Live
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

General Election LIVE: Poll suggests Tory wipe-out on July 4, as Sunak insists 'only election itself matters'

Exclusive
Pooja Kanda with Ronan

Mother of murdered son urges online shops to stop selling knives voluntarily if laws won't ban them

Israel has paused fighting to allow more aid into southern Gaza

Israel announces 'tactical pause' in fighting to allow more aid into southern Gaza

Rishi Sunak said his faith guides him

Rishi Sunak says 'Hindu faith and duty' guide him as PM, and insists he is patriotic despite Nigel Farage's attacks

Gordon Ramsay 'lucky to be alive' as star shows off shocking injuries after being involved 'brutal' cycling accident

Gordon Ramsay 'lucky to be alive' as star shows off shocking injuries after being involved in 'brutal' cycling accident

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world in Switzerland

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world leaders in Switzerland

Kate's big comeback: Princess and William share tender moment as she re-joins royals at Trooping the Colour

Kate's big comeback: Princess and William share tender moment as she re-joins royals at Trooping the Colour

The attack, which took place in a garden east Germany on Friday night, saw the knifeman stab four people before police arrived at the scene.

German police shoot dead knifeman at Euro 2024 party after rampage leaves one dead and three injured