Sergei Kotov

Ukraine Says It Has Destroyed Russian Patrol Vessel In Occupied Crimea

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Ukrainian sea drones have struck and “destroyed” the Russian patrol vessel Sergei Kotov in occupied Crimea, the Main Directorate of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence (HUR) said in a statement on March 5.

HUR’s special unit Group 13 and Ukraine’s Naval Forces took part in the operation with support from the Ministry of Digital Transformation, HUR said in a statement on Telegram.

“As a result of a strike by Magura V5 maritime drones, the Russian ship Project 22160 Sergey Kotov sustained damage to the stern and to the starboard and port sides. The action occurred in the territorial waters of Ukraine, not far from the Kerch Strait,” the statement said.

The value of the “destroyed” Russian vessel was about $65 million, it added.

HUR representative Andriy Yusov told RFE/RL that, according to preliminary information, there are dead and wounded among the ship’s crew, and some have been evacuated.

“There are dead and wounded. However, there is a possibility that part of the crew could have evacuated,” Yusov said.

Social media posts reported that the attack on the vessel occurred in the port of Feodosia overnight. A video posted on X, formerly Twitter, purportedly shows the moment of the impact and a large explosion.

Russia has not commented on the Ukrainian claim.
“The Russian Black Sea Fleet is a symbol of occupation. It cannot be in Ukrainian Crimea,” Andriy Yermak, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, wrote on Telegram on March 5.
Explosions were heard early on March 5 in the Crimean city of Kerch, and the bridge connecting the occupied peninsula with Russia was closed, according to RFE/RL’s Crimea.Realities project.

Highway traffic reportedly reopened on the bridge at around 7 a.m. local time, the Russian-installed administration managing the bridge said on March 5.
Last month, Ukraine’s military said it had destroyed the Tsezar Kunikov, one of the largest Russian landing ships, in the Black Sea off the coast of occupied Crimea.
It said the February 14 strike was a combined operation of the armed forces and military intelligence also using Magura V5 naval drones.

Earlier in February, Ukrainian forces said they had sunk the Russian missile-armed corvette Ivanovets in the Black Sea in an operation carried out by the same elite Group 13 unit with Magura V5 drones.
Russia has not commented on the two Ukrainian claims.
The Magura V5 drone, an acronym for Maritime Autonomous Guard Unmanned Robotic Apparatus V Type, was unveiled last year. The drone, which has the appearance of a sleek speedboat, has a top speed of 80 kilometers per hour, according to reports, and can carry a payload of 320 kilograms.
With reporting by Reuters

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