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Navy says only 5 Ropucha-class ships left in Russia's Black Sea Fleet after sinking of Caesar Kunikov

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 14, 2024 1:07 PM 2 min read
The Russian Landing Ship Caesar Kunikov supported by tug boats floats off of the Bulgarian coast on, Aug. 15, 2014. (NurPhoto/Corbis via Getty Images)
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Only five Ropucha-class landing ships remain in service in Russia's Black Sea Fleet out of a previous total of 13 following the sinking of the Caesar Kunikov on Feb. 14, Ukrainian Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk said on television.

The Caesar Kunikov was sunk in the early morning of Feb. 14 off of the Crimean city of Alupka by Magura V5 naval drones, Ukraine's military intelligence said. The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said it was a joint operation between the army and the military intelligence.

Pletenchuk said that only five of the 13 "775" ships (code-word for the Ropucha-class landing ships) remained in service.

Other estimates have varied- the website for the Black Sea Fleet said there were five such landing ships, including the Caesar Kunikov.

Forbes wrote on Feb. 14 that only four landing ships remained following the sinking of the Caesar Kunikov, a total that consisted of both Ropucha and Tapir-class vessels.

According to military intelligence, the Caesar Kunikov had a crew size of up to 87 personnel. It is unclear at the time of this publication how many crew members were on the ship when it sank.

The military intelligence said that search and rescue operations were unsuccessful.

Previously, the U.K. Defense Ministry said that the Novocherkassk landing vessel was destroyed in December 2023, following the "functional" destruction of the Minsk landing ship in September 2023.

The Saratov landing ship was sunk shortly after the beginning of the full-scale invasion in March 2022.

These are the most important Russian ships destroyed by Ukraine
One of the most unexpected developments of the full-scale invasion was how many big, expensive Russian ships were taken out by Ukraine, a country that technically has no navy. Around 20% of Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been destroyed as of December 2023, according to National Security and Defense
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