Ukraine has confirmed it hit two Russian Black Sea naval ships over the last three days in a joint operation by the navy and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) using “experimental weaponry.”

A source in the SBU told Kyiv Post that the missile carrier Buyan was attacked on Friday while the Pavel Derzhavin ship was struck on Wednesday.

The source said: “After the first detonation, Russian minesweepers and divers were unable to discover our know-how.”

They added that a Russian submarine called the Alrosa “was lucky and managed to escape.”

“The carrier of cruise missiles Buyan could not repeat the feat of Alrosa, therefore it was struck today during the Sevastopol raid by the experimental weapons of ‘Sea Babies,’” the source said.


There are currently no reports of damage or casualties but videos posted to social media on Friday showed a Russian ship – believed to be the Buyan – billowing smoke off the coast of Sevastopol.

The SBU concluded: “The Security Service of Ukraine warns the Russians that there is no need to go through Ukrainian waters if you want to preserve at least some remnants of your fleet.”

The ‘Sea Baby’ is the latest version of a Ukrainian USV (uncrewed surface vessel) that was first used in an attack on Crimea’s Kerch Bridge on July 17.

It features a new hull design with a rising skiff-like bow. More significantly, yet unseen, it may have been equipped with a special warhead. Reports indicate that it was fitted with a 860kg warhead, much larger than the other models.

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Reports of the Pavel Derzhavin being struck first emerged on Thursday though the cause was unclear at the time.

The Pavel Derzhavin is one of the Russian navy’s newest Type 22160 corvettes, a 94-meter-long patrol ship with a deadweight of 1,500 tons and equipped with Kalibr anti-ship missiles.


Russian social media platforms reported an explosion close to the vessel around 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, as it sailed near the entrance to the Sevastopol harbor, the traditional home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF).

Russian officials later in the day announced that all public transportation in Sevastopol city, including local ferries, would be shut down for unspecified reasons.

Russian language Wikipedia had, by Wednesday evening, written the ship off as a total loss and closed the page dedicated to the vessel.

The Pavel Derzhavin was built in the Kerch shipyard, a construction facility taken from Ukraine following Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014. The ship was commissioned at the end of 2020 and joined the BSF in June 2022, four months after the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The ship primarily carries Kalibr long-range cruise missiles and Tor anti-aircraft radar. According to naval analysts the primary missions of the Type 22160 corvette class, pre-war are patrol of territorial waters, anti-submarine warfare and cargo ship escort.

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