Ukrainian naval drone hits Russian oil tanker near Crimea


Share post:

Receive free War in Ukraine updates

A Ukrainian naval drone has struck a Russian oil tanker in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, in the latest in a series of bold strikes that signal Kyiv’s use of unmanned vehicles is becoming more aggressive and effective.

The attack on the vessel took place early on Saturday morning according to Russian reports and a Ukrainian official with knowledge of the operation. 

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the operation was carried out by the security service of Ukraine, or SBU, in conjunction with the country’s navy.

A video released by Ukrainian authorities which could not immediately be verified showed a naval drone striking the side of the tanker, which has been identified by Russian officials as the SIG. It was operating under the Russian flag and has 11 crew members.

Two tugboats were dispatched to aid the vessel, which had lost power due to damage to its engine room, Russia’s state-run Tass news agency reported, citing the Marine Rescue Coordination Center in Novorossiysk. The agency said the crew suffered no serious injuries and no fuel had been released into the sea.

Photos of the interior of the SIG published by the Russian Telegram channel Baza showed damage to several of the ship’s compartments and debris strewn across the rooms.

Vladimir Rogov, who heads the occupation administration in the part of southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Oblast which is under Russian control, wrote on Telegram that the explosion was visible to residents of Crimea.

He shared a recording of what he said was a distress call made by the ship’s crew to emergency services in which a man can be heard saying that “the engine room is completely flooded” and the vessel was unable to move.

Ukraine made no official statement claiming responsibility for the strike, in line with its wartime policy of rarely confirming or denying attacks inside Russia and in occupied Crimea. But in a tacit admission, SBU head Vasyl Malyuk said that any attacks “on the ships of the Russian Federation or the Crimean bridge is an absolutely logical and effective step in relation to the enemy”.

“Such special operations are conducted in the territorial waters of Ukraine and are completely legal,” he said. 

In recent days Ukraine has stepped up strikes on Russian territory and against Russian vessels and ports in the Black Sea using unmanned aerial and surface vehicles armed with explosives.

Analysts say the attacks are part of Ukraine’s effort to wear Moscow down and bring its war closer to home, while also disrupting its logistical capabilities. 

The attack on the SIG came a day after a Ukrainian sea drone struck Russia’s Olenegorsky Gornyak landing ship outside the port of Novorossiysk. Ukrainian officials said the SBU and Ukrainian navy were also behind that strike.

The Ukrainian attacks follow a series of Russian missile and drone strikes on ports in Odesa city and the wider region that targeted facilities used to export grain. They came in the wake of Moscow’s withdrawal from the UN-brokered deal which allowed cereals to be transported through the Black Sea despite the war.

The SIG has been under sanctions by the US since 2019 for supplying jet fuel to the forces fighting for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Rogov said the ship had recently returned from Syria, where it delivered oil products for Russia’s military. 

“Such an attack is intended not only to force Russia to return to the shameful grain deal, but also to partially jeopardise the logistical capabilities of Russia’s armed forces in the Middle East,” he said.

Malyuk warned that attacks on Russian vessels would continue as long as they posed a threat to his country. Russian ships should “leave the territorial waters of Ukraine and our land”, he said. “The sooner they do it, the better it will be for them.”

Source link

Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

Recent posts

Related articles

UK home secretary Braverman set to call for UN refugee treaty reform

Receive free UK immigration updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest UK...

Fossil fuel demand must fall by a quarter by 2030 to limit global warming, IEA says

Receive free Climate change updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest Climate...

The debt-fuelled bet on US Treasuries that’s scaring regulators

One year ago, a pocket of borrowed money on the edge of UK bond markets imploded with...

Net zero was never going to be an easy win for workers

Receive free Employment updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest Employment news...

Poland’s lurch to the right ahead of elections unsettles Brussels

Until very recently, officials in Brussels were hoping that opposition leader Donald Tusk will return to power...

JPEX probe tests Hong Kong’s crypto-friendly stance

The teal-and-white advertisements of cryptocurrency group JPEX, or Japan Exchange, were inescapable in Hong Kong last year...

UK manufacturing groups hit out at Rishi Sunak’s U-turns on net zero pledges

Receive free UK politics updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest UK...

How TSMC’s chip plant is shaking up a small town in Japan

People in Kikuyo have a term to encapsulate a new era of traffic jams, skyrocketing property prices...