Russia’s claim that it had thwarted a Ukrainian attack on a Black Sea naval base overnight are “fake,” Kyiv has said, publishing a video of what appears to be a sea-borne drone successfully attacking one of Moscow’s ships.
Russia said on Friday morning it had repelled a Ukrainian sea and air drone attack in Novorossiysk Bay on the Crimean peninsula.
“Tonight, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with the use of two unmanned sea boats, attempted an attack on the Novorossiysk naval base of the Russian Armed Forces,” the defense ministry said on Telegram.
But just a few hours later, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) released a video shot at nighttime showing a water-borne drone approaching a ship.
In a comment to Kyiv Post, sources at the SBU said: “The SBU conducted a special operation in Novorossiysk Bay - the large amphibious assault ship ‘Olenegorsky Gornyak’ was damaged.
“The video shows how an SBU surface drone, loaded with 450 kilograms of TNT, attacking an enemy ship with about 100 crew members.
“As a result of the attack, the Olenegorsky Gornyak received a serious hole and is currently unable to perform its combat tasks. Therefore, all Russian statements about a ‘repulsed attack’ are fake.”
Unverified videos posted to social media show a reportedly show large ship listing to the side being towed into Novorossiysk port.
In the night, Ukraine bombed the port of Novorossiisk. It appears to have landed a direct hit on the “Olenegorsky Miner”, one of Russia’s landing ships. pic.twitter.com/dlaps3ggSj— Timothy Phillips (@TSJPhillips) August 4, 2023
"The presence of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea... will be put to an end," Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said on social media following the most recent drone strike.
"Ukraine will ensure freedom and security in the Black Sea for world trade."
The number of attacks in the sea has increased from both sides since Moscow exited a deal last month that had allowed Ukrainian grain exports via the shipping hub during the conflict between the two countries.
The Black Sea port of Novorossiysk hosts the terminus of a pipeline that carries most Kazakh oil exports through Russia.
The fuel artery's operator Caspian Pipeline Consortium said it was continuing to ship oil to moored tankers at the terminal, Russian state media reported Friday.
But "a temporary ban has been established on the movement of ships in the port," said the company, as quoted by Interfax news agency.
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