Ukrainian military claims it sank Russian landing ship in Black Sea

14 February 2024, 14:04

Russia Ukraine War. Picture: PA

The Caesar Kunikov large landing ship sank near Alupka, a city on the Crimean Peninsula.

Ukraine’s military has said it sank a Russian landing ship in the Black Sea using naval drones.

The report has not been confirmed by Russian forces.

The Caesar Kunikov large landing ship sank near Alupka, a city on the Crimean Peninsula that Moscow annexed in 2014, Ukraine’s General Staff said.

It said the ship can carry 87 crew members.

Ukraine’s military intelligence, known by its Ukrainian acronym GUR, said its special operations unit Group 13 sank the Caesar Kunikov using Magura V5 sea drones on Wednesday.

The Russian military did not immediately comment on the claim, saying only that it downed six Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea overnight.

It is the second time in two weeks that Ukrainian forces have said they sank a Russian vessel in the Black Sea.

Last week, the GUR published a video that it said showed naval drones assaulting the Russian missile-armed corvette Ivanovets.

Sinking the vessel would be another embarrassing blow for the Russian Black Sea fleet, and a significant success for Ukraine 10 days before the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion on February 24 2022.

Ukraine has moved onto the defensive in the war, hindered by low ammunition supplies and a shortage of personnel, but has kept up its strikes behind the largely static 930-mile front line.

Ukrainian attacks on Russian aircraft and ships in the Black Sea have helped push Moscow’s naval forces back from the coast, allowing Kyiv to increase crucial exports of grain and other goods through its southern ports.

A new generation of unmanned weapons systems has become a centrepiece of the war, both at sea and on land.

The Magura V5 drone, which looks like a sleek black speedboat, was unveiled last year. It reportedly has a top speed of 42 knots (50mph) and a payload of 320 kilograms (700lbs).

Caesar Kunikov, for whom the Russian vessel was named, was a Second World War hero of the Soviet Union for his exploits and died on February 14, the same day as the Ukrainian drone strike, in 1943.

By Press Association

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