By Illia Novikov | Related Press

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s army stated Wednesday it used high-tech naval drones to sink a Russian touchdown ship within the Black Sea, a report that has not been confirmed by Russian authorities.

The Caesar Kunikov amphibious ship sank 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) off Alupka, a metropolis on the southern fringe of the Crimean Peninsula that Moscow annexed in 2014, Ukraine’s Normal Workers stated. It stated the ship can carry 87 crew members. The ship was additionally transporting ammunition, a Ukrainian official stated.

Sinking the vessel could be one other embarrassing blow for the Russian Black Sea fleet and a big success for Ukraine 10 days earlier than the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov declined to touch upon the declare throughout a convention name with reporters Wednesday. He stated questions needs to be addressed to the Russian army.A number of Russian army bloggers confirmed the assault on the ship however stopped in need of confirming that it had been sunk.

Ukraine has moved onto the defensive within the struggle, hindered by low ammunition provides and a scarcity of personnel, however has saved up its strikes behind the largely static 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) entrance line.

It’s the second time in two weeks that Ukrainian forces have stated they sank a Russian vessel within the Black Sea. Final week, they printed a video that they stated confirmed naval drones assaulting the Russian missile-armed corvette Ivanovets.

Ukraine’s Army Intelligence, recognized by its Ukrainian acronym GUR, stated its particular operations unit “Group 13” sank the Caesar Kunikov utilizing superior Magura V5 sea drones on Wednesday. Explosions broken the vessel on its left facet, it stated, although a closely edited video it launched was unclear. The identical unit additionally struck on Feb. 1, in keeping with officers.

GUR’s Andrii Yusov declined to say what number of drones had been deployed. However he informed reporters that the operation took “a very long time to organize — routes are tracked, information is collected.”

The personal intelligence agency Ambrey stated the video confirmed that at the least three drones performed the assault and that the ship doubtless sank after itemizing closely on its port facet.

The Caesar Kunikov most likely was a part of the Russian fleet escorting service provider vessels that decision at Crimean ports, Ambrey stated.

The touchdown ship can carry tanks, troops and different cargo to assist amphibious assaults, with doorways within the bow that open onto land with out the ship needing to dock.

Ukrainian assaults on Russian plane and ships within the Black Sea have helped push Moscow’s naval forces again from the coast, permitting Kyiv to extend essential exports of grain and different items via its southern ports.

A brand new technology of unmanned weapons techniques has change into a centerpiece of the struggle, each at sea and on land.

The Magura V5 drone, which appears like a smooth black speedboat, was unveiled final 12 months. It reportedly has a high velocity of 42 knots (80 kph, 50 mph) and a payload of 320 kilograms (700 kilos).The Russian army didn’t instantly touch upon the claimed sinking, saying solely that it downed six Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea in a single day.

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