The Russian Navy’s 371-foot landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak (pictured in 2021) was “seriously damaged” in a Ukrainian drone attack this week, the British Ministry of Defense confirmed in an update Saturday. Pool Photo by Alexei Nikolsky/EPA EFE
Aug. 5 (UPI) — Ukrainian sea drones were responsible for attacking and damaging a Russian warship in the Black Sea, the British Ministry of Defense confirmed in an update issued Saturday.
The Russian Navy’s 371-foot landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak was “seriously damaged” on the overnight attack on Friday, according to the ministry’s update.
British intelligence sources say the ship was seen listing at 30 or 40 degrees, suggesting the explosion or explosions compromised watertight doors and compartments below deck.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense on Friday said two drones attacked the port city of Novorossiysk, which is home to the country’s Black Sea Fleet. However Russian officials at the time denied any of their ships were damaged.
Ukrainian authorities have not claimed responsibility for the striking the ship and the country’s navy said it had had “nothing to do” with the attack, which took place between late Thursday and early Friday morning.
The British report says the Olenegorsky Gornyak was “almost certainly” damaged by Ukrainian drones. Images of the Project 775 Ropucha-class landing ship show it being towed back to port.
“Routinely assigned to Russia’s Northern Fleet, the vessel has augmented the BSF [Black Sea Fleet] since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has often ferried military and civilian traffic between Russia and occupied Crimea when the Kerch Bridge has been disrupted due to attacks,” the MOD reported.
“The Olenegorsky Gornyak represents the largest Russian naval vessel seriously damaged or destroyed since the sinking of the cruiser Moskva on 13 April 2022. This is a significant blow to the BSF, which previously relocated most of its units to Novorossiysk due to the high threat to Sevastopol.”
A sea drone broadsided the ship while carrying almost a half-ton of explosives, according to CNN and The New York Times, which both cited Ukrainian military sources, adding there were around 100 Russian sailors aboard at the time.
The attack was reportedly a joint operation carried out between the Security Service of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Navy.
The Olenegorsky Gornyak was transferred to the Black Sea Fleet and moved into the region in February of 2022.
Ukrainians march together through the streets of London to the Russian Embassy to mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2023. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo
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