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Third Russian Ship May Have Been Hit in Ukrainian Strike

Explosion in Sevastopol during the Ukrainian strike, March 23 (Mykhaïlo Golub / Twitter)
Explosion in Sevastopol during the Ukrainian strike, March 23 (Mykhaïlo Golub / Twitter)

Published Mar 25, 2024 12:40 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, Ukraine's navy announced that a third Russian vessel may have been hit in last weekend's missile strike on Sevastopol. 

Dmytro Pletenchuk, spokesman for the Ukrainian Navy, said that the attack may also have hit the surveillance ship Ivan Khurs. Ukraine's military intelligence previously claimed that air force units hit the Ropucha-class landing ships Yamal and Azov, leaving Yamal "critically damaged" with a list to starboard.   

"The occupiers continuously pump out water from the affected ship," said the service, known by the initials GUR. 

The attacks targeted Sevastopol's 13th Shipyard and a variety of Black Sea Fleet infrastructure, including a naval communications center. Ukraine's claims could not be immediately verified. 

Ukraine has repeatedly targeted the Russian Navy's Sevastopol base with drone and missile strikes, and most of the Black Sea Fleet has withdrawn to the relative safety of Novorossiysk. The reason that Yamal and Azov were moored within range of Ukrainian strike capabilities is not known, but Sevastopol has historically served as the primary destination for ship repair for the fleet.

Ukrainian forces have also mounted multiple covert attacks on Russian refining infrastructure over the past two months, disabling multiple installations deep in the Russian heartland. The strikes have forced Russia to incrementally change its export mix away from refined products in favor of more crude oil, and to ban gasoline exports altogether. However, the White House is said to have asked Kyiv to halt an effective strike campaign out of a fear of rising energy prices and possible Russian retaliation, according to the FT.

Russian forces struck back Monday with a wave of suicide drone strikes on southern Ukraine, including targets in Mykolaiv and in the Danube port city of Izmail.