Ukraine says it has disabled a third of Russia's Black Sea fleet after sinking another warship

Security Intelligence Service of Ukraine/Telegram

On February 14, 2024, Ukraine released footage showing a maritime drone flying toward Russia's Cesar Kunikov frigate in the Black Sea.



CNN

Ukraine Russia says it has sunk another Russian warship after its military intelligence said it had disabled a third of its Black Sea fleet. Marine drone attack Wednesday on the coast of Crimea.

The Russian landing craft Caesar Kunikov was attacked “Magura” V5 drones The Ukrainian military intelligence agency said in a telegram that it had drilled “significant holes” in its left side before sinking.

“Ukraine has disabled a third of the Russian Black Sea fleet during a large-scale invasion,” the country's armed forces told CNN after Wednesday's attack.

This is consistent with Ukrainian claims that 33% of Russia's warships were disabled last week, meaning 24 disabled ships and one submarine. By Ukraine's count, the landing craft Caesar Kunikov will be the 25th disabled ship.

Wednesday's attack was carried out by the agency's “Group 13” special forces unit in cooperation with Ukraine's defense and security forces, the statement said.

Night time scenes A marine drone provided by Ukraine showed the Caesar racing toward the Kuniko before a plume of smoke billowed from the ship.

CNN could not independently verify Ukraine's claims. The Kremlin declined to comment on the attack.

“This is related to the course of special military operations, so it is the prerogative of the Ministry of Defense. I recommend looking at the reports of our military colleagues. I cannot say anything about this,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a news conference.

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Wednesday's attack was the latest in a series of Ukrainian offensives in an attempt to launch a strategic and symbolic offensive against Russian forces that annexed Crimea in 2014.

As Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine nears its second anniversary, frontline positions have remained largely stable for months. But Ukraine has since last year highlighted For the Black Sea, he said its attacks on Crimea and Russian shipping were intended to isolate the peninsula and make it more difficult for Russia to maintain its military operations on Ukrainian territory.

Yoruk Isik/Reuters

In 2020, Ukraine claimed that the Caesar Kunikov in Istanbul, Turkey, was destroyed in a maritime drone attack.

Earlier this month, Ukraine said it had sunk Ivanovets, a Russian guided-missile ship, is in the Black Sea. On its remarkable strike Moscow In April 2022, Russia forced Ukraine to change its mode of operation near areas under its control.

After the attack on Ivanovets, CNN interviewed Ukraine's secret maritime drone unit behind the strike near the Ukrainian coastal city of Odessa. One of the drone pilots behind the attack told CNN that 10 “MAGURA” drones were used in the attack, six of which attacked and eventually sank the Russian warship.

The “Magura” drones are a few meters long and are powered by jet skis, a pilot from a special branch of Ukraine's defense intelligence told CNN earlier this year.

But they have a greater range of about 800 kilometers (almost 500 miles), so military units can launch drones from large swathes of Ukraine's coastline for missions against Crimean targets.

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Kyiv is increasingly using drones to level the playing field with Russia. Ukraine's former top general, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, emphasized the importance of drones In a CNN op-ed He wrote earlier this month removed from his post Last week Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“These unmanned systems — like drones — along with other types of advanced weapons, offer Ukraine the best way to avoid being drawn into a standing war where we have no advantage,” Zalushny wrote.

One of Ukraine's drone pilots told CNN drones have provided an advantage in the Black Sea because “they are very difficult to see” and their small size makes it difficult to target Russia, while drones can target warships more easily.

“No warship can maneuver like these drones,” the pilot added.

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