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Russia claims naval drone tried to attack Black Sea Fleet ships

by Dinara Khalilova August 18, 2023 10:32 AM 2 min read
Russian ships stationed in Sevastopol, Russian-occupied Crimea, during the celebration of the Black Sea Fleet Day on May 13, 2023. (Russian Defense Ministry's press service)
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The Russian Defense Ministry claimed a Ukrainian naval drone had attempted to attack Russian ships in the Black Sea late on Aug. 17 but was allegedly destroyed.

The vessels were "carrying out navigation control tasks" in the Black Sea's southwestern part, 237 kilometers from Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea, the ministry said on Telegram.

Moscow claimed that two Russian patrol ships had destroyed the naval drone before it reached its destination. Kyiv hasn't commented on the incident.

Over the past weeks, a series of explosions took place in the Black Sea.

The Russian landing vessel Olenegorskiy Gornyak was reportedly hit by a naval surface drone on Aug. 4. CNN and several Ukrainian media outlets cited unnamed sources in Ukraine's Security Service (SBU), saying the operation was a joint endeavor between the SBU and the Ukrainian Navy.

From Moscow to Novorossiysk: The list of attacks on Russian soil
On the morning of Aug. 4, the residents of the Russian city of Novorossiysk woke to a 112-meter-long Navy ship being towed back to port after it was hit by a drone attack on the Black Sea overnight. While the Russian Defense Ministry claimed there were no casualties or damage,

In the early hours of Aug. 5, explosions were also heard near the Crimean Bridge. The Moscow Times reported that the naval drone attack on the Kerch Strait could have potentially damaged the Russian SIG chemical tanker.

Later in the day, the SBU chief Vasyl Maliuk made a statement on the recent surface drone attacks on Russian ships, effectively admitting that Ukraine was behind the attacks. He said such attacks are "absolutely logical" and "completely legal."

On Aug. 15, Ukraine's Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk said that Ukrainian forces had already put out of action five large Russian military landing crafts since the start of the full-scale invasion.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in late July that Ukraine would continue to attack targets in Crimea to reduce Russia's fighting capacity and "help save the lives of Ukrainians."

ISW: Crimean bridge attacks cause ‘significant disruptions’ to Russian logistics
Ukrainian strikes against road bridges linking Russian-occupied Crimea to Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast “pose significant disruptions to logistics,” the Institute for the Study of War wrote in its Aug. 6 analysis.
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