The Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense intercepted Russian radio communications from the site of the destroyed sizeable amphibious assault ship Cesar Kunikov, cofirming its demise, according to a report via Telegram from the HUR.

Russian Ka-52 and Mi-8 helicopters conducted a visual inspection of the location where the ship sank, with an An-26 military transport aircraft of the Russian Air Force serving as a relay for information.

“I see wreckage and an oily stain,” said a Russian pilot.

The HUR disclosed that the amphibious ship had been docked near a specialized mooring wall for ten days, serving as a loading point for Russian military weapons and equipment.

“Based on preliminary visual assessments of the ship’s draft during the sinking, the Cesar Kunikov was loaded,” the message stated.

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Andriy Yusov, a representative of the HUR, commented to NV media outlet, indicating that the majority of the ship’s crew had perished.

“There are no concrete figures yet, but according to available information, most of the crew died,” he said.

The full-time crew of Cesar Kunikov comprised 87 individuals.

Ukrainian intelligence reports indicate that the ship was laden with ammunition at the time of the attack.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) officially confirmed the destruction of the Cesar Kunikov in collaboration with Ukrainian intelligence. During the attack, the ship was in Ukrainian territorial waters near Alupka.

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Kyiv Post, citing sources within the HUR, reported that the special operation utilized Ukrainian MAGURA naval drones. The HUR subsequently confirmed this information.

Intelligence revealed that the Russian ship sustained critical damage on the port side and began to sink, with Russian search and rescue efforts proving unsuccessful.

According to Ukrainian intelligence data, the Cesar Kunikov, a project 775 large amphibious ship, is one of Russia's newest vessels, deployed in wars in Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine

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The Cesar Kunikov had previously come under attack in Berdyansk at the end of March 2022. The General Staff reported that the large amphibious assault ship Saratov was destroyed in the Azov operational zone during an assault on the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk.

Following this prior attack, the Cesar Kunikov and Novocherkask sustained damages, rendering them incapable of performing combat missions for an extended period.

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