Putin’s £50 million warship ‘wrecked’ by naval drones

March 5, 2024
The Sergey Kotov patrol ship | Report Focus News
The Sergey Kotov patrol ship

Ukrainian forces have reportedly struck a significant blow to Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea fleet, damaging the ‘Sergey Kotov,’ one of Russia’s naval vessels near Kerch, in occupied Crimea. Explosions rocked the ship, leading Ukrainian officials to claim that Magura V5 naval drones successfully ‘destroyed’ the formidable warship.

The Ministry of Defence in Ukraine provided details of the attack, attributing it to the specialized unit of the Defence Intelligence known as “Group 13.” In a bold statement, they declared, “Another Russian ship was upgraded to a submarine. The Russian ship of project 22160, ‘Sergei Kotov,’ worth $65 million, suffered damage to the stern, right, and left sides. Nice start of the day! Great job, warriors.”

The ‘Sergey Kotov,’ although not large with a crew of 80, presents a significant threat to cargo ships. Armed with a formidable 76-millimeter gun and Kalibr land-attack cruise missiles, the vessel is a critical component of Russia’s naval capabilities in the Black Sea.

Footage capturing the moment of the reported explosion has circulated, but as of now, the Kremlin has not issued a statement in response to the incident. Andriy Yermak, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, emphasized the symbolic significance of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, stating, “It cannot be in the Ukrainian Crimea.”

Emergency services extinguish fire caused by a Russian drone attack on Odesa | Report Focus News
Emergency responders quell flames sparked by a drone assault in Odesa orchestrated by Russian forces Picture Reuters

The attack utilized Magura V5 naval drones, known for their payload capacity of at least 320kg of explosives. This is not the first deployment of these drones, as in February, they were used to strike the Caesar Kunikov amphibious ship and the warship Ivanovets. Ukraine, with limited naval capabilities, strategically employs missiles and a fleet of diverse maritime suicide drones to counterbalance Russia’s predominant influence in the Black Sea.

The impact of the attack on the ‘Sergey Kotov’ was significant enough to temporarily halt train traffic on the bridge connecting the Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland. Additionally, highway traffic was suspended for several hours, causing disruptions before normalcy was restored just before 7 am.

In a simultaneous event, Russia launched an attack on Odesa using multiple Iranian-made Shahed drones. Ukrainian forces reported shooting down 18 out of the 22 drones, with the remaining four successfully penetrating air defenses and causing considerable destruction in the port city. The strategic use of advanced technology and tactics by Ukraine underscores the escalating tensions in the region and its efforts to resist Russia’s influence.

AviewofadamagedareaatthesiteofaRussiandroneattack | Report Focus News
View of a damaged area at the site of a Russian drone attack Picture Reuters