Ukraine says its sea drones sank another Russian ship, continuing its unlikely kill streak in the Black Sea

Ukraine says its sea drones sank another Russian ship, continuing its unlikely kill streak in the Black Sea

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Ukraine says it sank a Russian landing ship in the Black Sea using inexpensive sea drones, the second prize it has claimed in a month, and continuing its unexpected success in taking out Russia’s navy.

The Defense Intelligence X account shared footage on Wednesday that shows several naval drones approaching and then striking a ship, identified by the account as the Caesar, or Caesar Kunikov.

Ironically, that ship is named after a naval officer of the Soviet Union who was killed on February 14, 1943.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence has not commented on the claimed attack, and did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Defense Intelligence said the attack used MAGURA drones, the same class of Ukrainian-developed naval drones linked to the sinking of the corvette Ivanovets on January 31, as it sailed near an inlet in Crimea.

The Caesar Kunikov was near the resort city of Alupka, in Crimea, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ general staff. That’s a few miles from a palace used by President Vladimir Putin in the village of Olivye.

Its business in those waters is currently unknown.

The video consists of grainy black-and-white footage from the perspective of the drones themselves as they approach the ship.

Some shots show them taking a circuitous route, potentially to avoid being targeted by the ship’s guns. Others show a large explosion, viewed from a distance, as well as what appears to be a mangled hole in the vessel’s side.

A series of four reversed black-and-white stills from footage shared by Defense Intelligence of Ukraine claims to show, variously, naval drones' eye views of the Ivanovets, as well as views from a distance, during an overnight attack on January 31, 2024.

A series of four stills from footage shared by Defense Intelligence of Ukraine claiming to show the sinking of the corvette Ivanovets during an overnight attack on January 31, 2024.

Defense Intelligence of Ukraine



As with the sinking of the Ivanovets — stills from which can be seen above — the attack has been attributed to Group 13, a special operations unit within Ukraine’s military.

Last week, a member of the group identified only as “13” told CNN that MAGURA V5 drones are powered by Jet Skis, or civilian personal watercraft.

Experts have said that the drone’s low production costs are a distinct advantage when targeting expensive shipping.

If confirmed, the sinking would be another notch in Ukraine’s impressive score sheet against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

In April 2022, Ukraine sank the Russian Black Fleet flagship, the Moskva, which was seen as a significant blow to Russia. Since then, many more ships have been taken out.

In December, the UK’s defense minister, Grant Shapps, said that Ukraine has destroyed some 20% of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

Following this latest claimed attack, Ukraine’s armed forces told CNN that it had destroyed a third of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.



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