Ukrainian naval drone targets Russian vessels

Russian navy ships destroyed a remotely-operated boat in the Black Sea, the military has said

Ukrainian naval drone targets Russian vessels – MOD

FILE PHOTO ©  Sputnik / Aleksey Danichev

Two Black Sea Fleet vessels thwarted an attempted attack by a Ukrainian maritime drone on Thursday evening, the Russian Defense Ministry said. 

“Today at 22.55, the armed forces of Ukraine made an unsuccessful attempt to attack the ships of the Black Sea Fleet, performing the tasks of controlling navigation in the southwestern part of the Black Sea, 237 km southwest of Sevastopol,” the Russian military said.

The unmanned boat was destroyed by gunfire from the patrol frigate Pytlivy and the patrol ship Vasily Bykov, before it could reach its target.

Thursday’s attack is the second time this month that Ukraine has attempted to sink the Bykov. On August 1, three maritime drones attacked the patrol ship and its sister Sergey Kotov in the Black Sea, but were likewise destroyed by on-board cannons.

READ MORE: Russian Navy rebuffs Ukrainian drone attack – MOD

With its fleet reduced to a handful of patrol boats, Ukraine has resorted to attacks on Russian ships and infrastructure by remotely operated vessels. In mid-July, a drone damaged a span of the Crimean Bridge, killing two civilians and injuring another. Earlier this month, the Russian tanker Sig was struck by another drone on the approach to Crimea, but was towed to port.

On Wednesday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) provided CNN with video of the bridge attack by the drone, which its chief Vasily Malyuk called ‘Sea Baby.’ Malyuk described the drones as “a unique invention” of the SBU.

Ukraine first claimed to have sunk the Bykov in March 2022, using rockets launched from the shore in Odessa. The ship turned up unharmed in the port of Sevastopol a week later, however. 

Earlier this week, the Bykov stopped and boarded a Palau-registered cargo ship Sukru Okan in the Black Sea, after the Ukraine-bound vessel ignored the Russian requests to heave to and be inspected. 

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