Ukraine hits Russian oil tanker with sea drone hours after attacking naval base – A maritime drone targeted one of Russia’s largest oil tankers, the latest salvo in a Ukrainian military operation using unmanned vehicles to attack distant Russian targets by air and water.
According to a Ukraine Security Service source, the Russian-flagged ship, the Sig, was targeted by a drone carrying 450 kilogrammes (992 pounds) of TNT shortly before midnight. According to Russian authorities, the strike created a hole in the vessel’s engine room at the waterline on the starboard side, requiring the 11-person crew to resist the water intake. The deluge gradually came to an end.
According to Russia’s Federal Agency for Marine and River Transport, no casualties were reported and the Sig was not carrying oil when it slammed into the ship. However, Ukrainian officials stated that some crew members were injured and that the tanker was carrying fuel for the Russian military.
CNN was unable to independently confirm the accusations.
The attack on the Sig occurred just hours after Ukrainian sea drones hit a major naval installation in Novorossiysk, a Black Sea coastal city that is home to Russia’s largest port by cargo volume. A Russian amphibious landing ship was hit, causing it to tilt and sit very low in the water.
Ukraine has increased its use of unmanned aerial vehicles in recent weeks.
However, a new breed of powerful sea drones could open up a new front in Kyiv’s 18-month struggle.
The weapons are rapid, semi-submersible drones that are extremely tough to counter. They are easily launched at sea, and at least some types may travel hundreds of miles to their targets.
So far, their payloads have shown capable of damaging huge vessels.
The two sea-based attacks occurred Friday near the Kerch Strait, which connects the Crimean Peninsula to Russia’s mainland.
After illegally annexing the peninsula in 2014, the Kremlin spent roughly $3.7 billion to build a bridge connecting Crimea to Russia, both literally and symbolically. To commemorate the 12-mile overpass’s completion in 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin personally escorted a convoy over it.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, the Kerch Bridge has been targeted multiple times. An explosion in October killed three people and caused a section of the road to collapse, and Ukrainian forces attacked the bridge last month.
However, Friday’s onslaught appeared to be one of the largest to date. In addition to the assaults on the Sig and the naval base, Ukrainian aircraft drones targeted an oil storage facility in Feodosia, a town on the Crimean Peninsula’s south coast, on Friday morning. According to Russia’s Defence Ministry, ten unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down over Crimea.
Ukrainian officials have threatened to continue striking the bridge and ships transiting Ukrainian territorial seas, even if they are under Russian control. The Ukrainian Security Service chief, Vasyl Maliuk, described such operations as “absolutely logical and effective.”
Maliuk stated that if the Russians wanted such occurrences to stop, “their only option is to leave Ukraine’s territorial waters.”
After months of silence, Ukrainian institutions, particularly the Security Service, have been vociferous about the usage of these drones in the Black Sea.
Their employment provides a morale boost as well as a battlefield advantage, allowing Kyiv to take use of new, domestically produced technology at sea as its forces struggle to gain ground in the counteroffensive on land.