DRAMATIC new video appears to show the moment a Ukrainian kamikaze marine drone blitzes a Russian spy ship having dodged its gunfire.
The footage seems to indicate there was a near strike on the Ivan Khurs, one of Vladimir Putin’s most modern warships, in the Black Sea.
The new footage shows a Ukrainian marine drone close to the Russian spy ship[/caption]
The clip would appear to contradict Russian claims previously that the three drones had been blown out of the water[/caption]
Footage yesterday showed one marine drone being hit by the Ivan Khurs[/caption]
The Ivan Khurs, seen here in March 2021, came under attack from three marine drones[/caption]
Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko said the unmanned marine drone exploded close to the reconnaissance warship, although the footage doesn’t make clear what happened afterwards.
He said it “exploded right at the side of the ship and seriously damaged it”.
Gerashchenko said that the Ivan Khurs “was definitely damaged, and perhaps was even on its side”.
The vessel is said to have been undamaged, according to Russian sources, but offered no proof of this.
Russian sources said today that the spy ship remains afloat but there has been no independent confirmation.
Russian sources also said the drone may have hit the ship but not exploded.
The Russian Defence Ministry had earlier claimed that all three unmanned Ukrainian boats attacking the Khurs had been destroyed.
It said: “All three naval drones were destroyed from regular arms of the Russian vessel”.
Footage 24 hours earlier showed one kamikaze drone blown out of the water as it zigzagged towards the Khurs.
Initial volleys from the Russian warship missed the swivelling drone – but then it suffered a direct hit, exploding in a fireball.
Today’s footage appears to show either a direct hit – or that the drone was destroyed very close to the Khurs.
The incident indicates that Putin’s navy is no longer in control of the Black Sea.
The spy ship, launched in 2017, was in international waters some 40 nautical miles north of the Bosphorus Strait, according to reports.
“There is reason to believe that the drones were launched from a commercial civilian vessel,” said one Russian channel.
A Telegram channel later alleged the ship had been attacked from a grain carrying vessel – but this was disputed by Russian sources.
Russian warships and aircraft have been involved in several incidents in the Black Sea since Moscow launched its large-scale offensive in Ukraine in February, 2022.
Similar drone boats have been used in attacks in Crimea, such as the one in October last year when at least two Russian vessels were damaged in an early morning strike in Sevastopol.
Vladimir Putin’s new flagship – a prized Project 11356R frigate named the Admiral Makarov – is believed to have been damaged in the attack.
In April 2022, Ukraine sank what was then the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva, with missile strikes in one of Putin’s biggest humiliations of the 15-month war.
In March this year, a US military drone crashed after an incident involving a Russian jet over the Black Sea.
The confrontation ratcheted up tensions between Moscow and Washington and spurred a rare phone call between senior US and Russian military officials.
USV drones are propelled by a single motor with a top speed of 46mph – they can travel over 60miles with a 145lbs (65kg) payload.
Explosive detonators, believed to be attached to the front of the 12ft canoe-sized vessel, trigger an explosion of what is thought to be an onboard warhead.
Throughout the war, Ukrainian fighters have been using relatively cheap drones to cause havoc with Russia.
Yesterday’s footage showed the drone initially managing to dodge the fire from the Russian warship as it swerves about in the sea[/caption]
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has suffered a number of military setbacks in the Black Sea since invading Ukraine[/caption]