Ukrainian drone attack on Russian warship in Black Sea.
Russia denies damage, but Novorossiysk port closed.
Olenegorsky Gornyak damaged, may hinder Russian resupply.
A Russian naval ship was reportedly damaged in a Ukrainian drone attack in the Black Sea.
Ukraine has claimed that two of its naval drones attacked a Russian warship near the port of Novorossiysk, a major hub for Russian exports. Russia’s defense ministry has denied that any damage was done to the ship, but has not provided any evidence to support its claim.
The attack, if confirmed, would be the first time that a Ukrainian drone has successfully hit a Russian warship in the Black Sea. It would also be a significant escalation in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has been ongoing since 2014.
The Olenegorsky Gornyak, a Russian landing ship, was reportedly hit by a Ukrainian sea drone carrying 450kg of dynamite.
The drone attack caused a serious breach in the ship’s hull, and it is thought to be listing to one side. The Novorossiysk port temporarily suspended all ship movements following the assault.
The Olenegorsky Gornyak is a vital part of Russia’s efforts to resupply forces fighting in occupied southern Ukraine. If the ship is out of action, it could hinder Russian resupply efforts.
This is not the first time that Ukraine has used sea drones to attack Russian ships. BBC Verify research suggests that Ukraine has carried out at least 11 such attacks, targeting military ships and Russia’s naval base in Sevastopol.
The use of sea drones is a new and worrying development in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. These drones are small and difficult to detect, making them a very effective weapon.