Military intelligence releases nighttime video showing the sinking of a ship it says was the Ivanovets missile boat.
Ukraine said it used maritime drones to attack and destroy a Russian warship in the Black Sea near Russia’s annexed Crimean peninsula.
The military intelligence agency, known by its Ukrainian acronym GUR, released a video on Thursday that it said showed a naval drone attack on the missile-armed corvette Ivanovets the previous night.
The grainy footage, lasting about 2 1/2 minutes and accompanied by a dramatic soundtrack, showed a number of explosions and the ship eventually tilting onto its side. This ended with the ship sinking, stern first, into the sea.
“As a result of a number of direct hits to the hull, the Russian ship suffered damage incompatible with further movements,” the intelligence agency said in a statement accompanying the video, apparently composed of live transmissions. direct from drones.
🔥 “Ivanovets” below – an enemy missile ship was destroyed as a result of a special operation of the GUR of the Ministry of Defense
— Defense Intelligence of Ukraine (@DI_Ukraine) February 1, 2024
The GUR said the attack was carried out by its Group 13 unit and took place while the Ivanovets were patrolling Lake Donuzlav in western Crimea. The lake was connected to the Black Sea by a canal in 1961.
There has been no official response from Russia, whose Black Sea Fleet has already been attacked by Ukraine, notably with the shipwreck from the flagship Moskva in April 2022.
On that occasion, Moscow finally acknowledged the loss of the ship and said that the Moskva had sunk while being towed to port after an “ammunition detonation” caused a fire.
Ukraine said it sank the Soviet-era ship with a cruise missile, and the United States confirmed the claim.
It was not possible to verify the sinking of the Ivanovets, but Russian military bloggers reported that the area was attacked by naval drones overnight and that the Ivanovets was hit.
Disinformation has become a key element of warwhich marks its second anniversary on February 24, and it has not been possible to independently verify the images or claims.
Private security firm Ambrey said Ukraine used up to six maritime drones, each typically carrying 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of explosives, in the attack.
A Western official also supported the Ukrainian version, telling the Associated Press news agency that it was “very likely that unmanned surface ships were responsible for the attack on the Ivanovets.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence.
The Ukrainian navy said the loss of the Ivanovets, whose crew is estimated at around 40 sailors, would be “significant” because Russia has only three ships of the same class in its Black Sea fleet.
Crimea, invaded and annexed by Moscow in 2014, is increasingly attacked by Ukrainian drones and missiles.
On Thursday, Russia announced that it had destroyed 20 Ukrainian missiles above the area.