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27 Mar 2024

Ukrainian missile attack hits Russian warship and reconnaissance vessel, navy says: Reuters

Ukrainian missile attack hits Russian warship and reconnaissance vessel, navy says: Reuters
Image Courtesy of Ministry of Defence of Ukraine
Originally posted on Reuters - By Max Hunder and Tom Balmforth

A Ukrainian missile attack struck a Russian naval reconnaissance vessel and a large landing warship that Moscow captured from Kyiv during the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, Ukraine's navy said on Tuesday.

Ukraine hit the vessels during an attack on Crimea at the weekend, the navy said. The fact of that strike was already known, but the military had said it hit two other warships, the Azov and Yamal large landing ships.

The navy said the Konstantin Olshansky large landing ship was struck with a Neptune anti-ship missile, sustaining damage that Kyiv was still assessing.

"Currently, this ship is not combat-capable," navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk said on national television, adding that the Ivan Khurs reconnaissance vessel had also been hit.

There was no immediate comment from Russia.

Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which Moscow used to project power into the Mediterranean and Middle East before the war, has suffered a string of blows as Ukraine has picked off warships and even a submarine with naval drones and missiles.

Earlier this month, Russia confirmed the appointment of a new head of its navy in what was seen in Ukraine as tacit acknowledgement of the success of their naval attacks even though Ukraine does not have any large warships of its own.

The Konstantin Olshansky, then a Ukrainian warship, was captured by Russia along with much of the Ukrainian navy in 2014 when the Kremlin's troops seized control of Crimea, the traditional base of the Black Sea Fleet.

Russia cannibalised the vessel for parts for other landing ships, Pletenchuk said.

But Ukrainian strikes on large landing ships created a shortage and forced the Russian navy to prepare the ship to be brought back into service over the past year, he said.

"It had gone through a renovation and was being prepared for use against Ukraine, so unfortunately the decision was taken to strike this (ship)," he said.

He added that a Ukrainian-made Neptune anti-ship missile was used for the strike.

"Out of 13 (large landing ships), four have been destroyed, four are being repaired, and five are in working order," he said.

The Yamal and Azov warships that were also hit over the weekend have been taken for repairs, Pletenchuk said.

The battle in the Black Sea is important for Ukraine, which wants to secure a vital export corridor for its grain, metal and other cargo to international markets despite attempts by Russia to impose a de-facto sea blockade.

Ukraine controls several hundred kilometres of Black Sea coastline despite Russian occupation of some of its southern regions.

Read original article here. 

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