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Ukraine war latest: Russian Mangust-class vessel destroyed in Crimea, military intelligence says

by The Kyiv Independent news desk and Kateryna Denisova May 6, 2024 10:11 PM 8 min read
Russian Mangust-class patrol boat. (Rosoboronexport)
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Key developments on May 6:

  • Ukraine destroys Russian fast attack craft in occupied Crimea
  • Syrskyi: Russia trying to break through defenses to reach Kurakhove, Pokrovsk
  • Russia threatens UK military installations, equipment "in Ukraine and abroad" after Cameron's remarks
  • Netherlands to begin F-16 aircraft deliveries to Ukraine in autumn
  • Minister: Ukraine to produce more weapons worth $10 billion if financed

Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian military fast attack craft on May 6, Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR) reported.

The attack was reportedly carried out with a Magura V5 multi-purpose sea drone in occupied Crimea overnight.

The agency later identified the targeted Russian vessel as a Mangust-class patrol boat, also known under the designation Project 12150.

In recent months, Ukraine has intensified its attacks on occupied Crimea, targeting Russian military assets in and around the Black Sea.

Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk earlier said that Russia had withdrawn nearly all its major ships from ports in occupied Crimea following successful Ukrainian strikes.

The Mangust-class vessels, worth around $3 million a piece, are used by Russia as multi-purpose high-speed crafts for patrolling, countering subversive operations, and search and rescue, the military intelligence agency said.

The boats are usually equipped with a remote-controlled weapon station with a 14.5 mm machine gun, as well as two AGS-17 grenade launchers, one DP-64 grenade launcher, and two Igla and Verba man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS).

The combat mission was conducted by the "Group 13" unit of Ukraine's military intelligence in collaboration with the fundraising platform United24 in the Vuzka Bay in the Black Sea.

Ukraine previously destroyed several Russian ships with Magura V5 multi-purpose sea drones, including the landing ship Caesar Kunikov, the Sergei Kotov patrol ship, high-speed Serna and Akula landing crafts, and a Tarantul-class Ivanovets missile corvette.

Ukrainian forces also partially damaged the Russian military ship Ivan Khurs using a Magura V5 drone.

On April 21, Ukraine's Navy struck the Kommuna ship in occupied Sevastopol. It was launched in 1915 and is the oldest ship still in service in the Russian Navy.

Sevastopol is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet and is frequently targeted by Ukrainian missile and sea drone strikes.

Update: Ukraine’s Navy confirms Russian ship Kommuna hit in Sevastopol
A missile was launched at the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed in occupied Sevastopol on April 21, the city’s Russian-installed governor has said. A source in Ukraine’s military intelligence told the Kyiv Independent that information on the strike was still being clarified.

Syrskyi: Russia trying to break through defenses to reach Kurakhove, Pokrovsk

Russian troops are trying to break through Ukraine's defenses and reach the towns of Pokrovsk and Kurakhove in Donetsk Oblast, Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on May 6.

Russia is carrying out intense attacks in multiple sections of the eastern front, which covers much of Donetsk Oblast, after it captured the city of Avdiivka in February.

Russian forces have been focusing their efforts near Chasiv Yar, which they see as crucial for further advances toward Kostiantynivka, Kramatorsk, and Sloviansk, the Ukrainian military reported in March.

Syrskyi said he had spent two days working with units deployed in Ukraine's east in the Pokrovsk and Kurakhove sectors, which he called Russia's "main attack direction."

"The main enemy's attack forces are concentrated here with attempts to break through the defense of our troops and, after building on their success, reach the towns of Kurakhove and Pokrovsk," the general said.

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War Notes

Outnumbered and outgunned, Ukrainian soldiers face daily attacks by Russian troops, according to Syrskyi.

The commander said he had met with brigade commanders and other officers and "made
all the necessary decisions to strengthen the defense with reserves, to allocate additional missiles, ammunition, electronic warfare equipment, and unmanned aerial vehicles."

"Our task in these conditions is to hold frontiers and positions, to inflict maximum losses on the enemy, to exhaust them, thereby disrupting the enemy's plans and gaining time to form and prepare our reserves," Syrskyi added.

Ukrainian troops retreated in late April west from the villages of Berdychi, Semenivka, and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast. The Khortytsia Group of Ukraine's Ground Forces said that Russian forces also managed to break in and gain a foothold in a part of the village of Ocheretyne in the region.

Kyrylo Budanov, the chief of Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR), said that Ukraine should expect to face a renewed Russian offensive in late spring or early summer, with the offensive intensifying around the eastern Donbas region.

Russia aims to completely occupy Donetsk, Luhansk, and, if possible, Zaporizhzhia oblasts in 2024, said Oleksandr Pavliuk, Ukraine's Ground Forces Commander.

Military: Russia trying to regain control of Nestryha Island in Kherson Oblast
Speaking on national TV, a spokesperson for the Southern Defense Forces, said Moscow’s troops had tried unsuccessfully to storm Ukrainian positions three times, losing four tanks in the process.

Russia threatens UK military installations, equipment "in Ukraine and abroad" after Cameron's remarks

Moscow can hit back at "any British military installations and equipment in or outside Ukraine" if Ukraine strikes on Russian territory with U.K.-made weapons, the Russian Foreign Ministry claimed on May 6.

British Ambassador to Moscow Nigel Casey was summoned to Russia's Foreign Ministry for a formal protest after U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron said that Kyiv had a right to use the weapons provided by London to strike targets inside Russia.

"Ukraine has that right. Just as Russia is striking inside Ukraine, you can quite understand why Ukraine feels the need to make sure it's defending itself," he said.

The Russian ministry claimed that Cameron "had de facto recognized his country as a part of the conflict," calling his remarks a "serious escalation."

"Casey was warned that in response to Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory with British weapons, any British military facilities and equipment on the territory of Ukraine and abroad could be targeted," the ministry's statement read.

Russia has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons in response to Western support for Ukraine, but the threats have so far failed to materialize.

Ukraine has continued to press its Western allies for longer-range weapons, but partners have hesitated about delivering arms that could potentially be used to strike within Russian territory.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Kyiv will not use weapons supplied by foreign partners to hit targets outside of the country's borders. Such restrictions do not apply to domestically produced arms, some of which are reportedly capable of striking deep into Russia.

Some of Ukraine's allies have sent weapons to Kyiv with no restrictions on strikes inside Russia, according to Latvian Foreign Minister Baiba Braze.

Ukraine has also reportedly used U.K.-supplied Storm Shadow missiles to target Russian military targets Crimea, a sovereign Ukrainian territory illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

Russia to hold tactical nuclear weapons drills amid ‘threats by certain Western officials’
The purpose of the exercises is to “maintain the readiness of personnel and equipment” to “unconditionally ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian state,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Netherlands to begin F-16 aircraft deliveries to Ukraine in autumn

The Netherlands plans to start delivering its F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine this autumn after Denmark begins transferring its aircraft already in the summer, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said during a press briefing in Vilnius, Delfi reported on May 6.

Previously, the Netherlands pledged to deliver 24 of its fourth-generation U.S.-made jets to Ukraine as Kyiv seeks to bolster its Air Force.

Speaking alongside her Lithuanian counterpart Laurynas Kasciunas, Ollongren said that the deliveries are part of a detailed plan also involving training for Ukrainian pilots and maintenance personnel.

If the allies manage to stay on course, the first Danish F-16s should arrive in Ukraine this summer, she added. The Netherlands hopes to take part in the deliveries starting this autumn.

The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Belgium have pledged to supply Ukraine with dozens of F-16 jets.

Denmark, along with the Netherlands and the U.S., has led an international coalition established last year to provide Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets and train Ukrainian pilots.

F-16s for Ukraine: When will they arrive and what can they do?
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is an American air superiority fighter that Kyiv has begged for since the start of the full-scale invasion and is expected to finally start receiving this year. It’s a versatile workhorse of a jet that’s fought in dozens of wars and is

Minister: Ukraine to produce more weapons worth $10 billion if financed

The gap between Ukrainian companies' production capacities and their funding is $10 billion for 2024, Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin said on May 6 at the EU-Ukraine Defense Industries Forum.

Kamyshin's statement came during the forum in Brussels, which gathered over 350 representatives from EU institutions, governments, European and Ukrainian defense industries, industry associations, and key partner states to boost cooperation with Ukraine in the defense sector.

The Ukrainian defense-industrial complex can launch production worth $20 billion per year, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, referring to the Strategic Industries Ministry's calculations.

The ministry plans to pass contracts worth $6 billion and to collect the other $4 billion via local funding in Ukraine. The partners could cover the rest of the $10 billion.

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"Our main task is to find additional funding for the defense forces in Ukraine. My task is to get this financing for production in Ukraine since we are already capable (of it)," Kamyshin said.

"We have additional non-contracted capacities, and we want them to be financed at the expense of European funds."

Kamyshin said that Denmark and Canada have already invested in Ukrainian arms production, but the Ukrainian government is still looking for additional funds to produce different weapons.

The minister said Ukraine can produce military equipment "from armored vehicles to unmanned aerial and ground vehicles."

"And this is the fastest and most correct way to help our Armed Forces... Part of the items can be produced very quickly," Kamyshin said.

EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton announced earlier at the forum that the EU has started work on establishing the new Defense Innovation office in Kyiv.

The office will support the further integration of Ukraine into European defense programs, while at the same time allowing European countries to learn from the experiences of the Ukrainian military on the battlefield.

EU Commissioner: EU begins work on new Defense Innovation office in Kyiv
The European Union has started work on establishing the new Defense Innovation office in Kyiv, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on May 6 at the EU-Ukraine Defense Industries Forum.

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