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Ukraine Adds Fourth Russian Ship to Last Weekend's Tally of Strikes

Ukrainian forces test-fire a Neptune cruise missile, 2019 (Gov't of Ukraine)
Ukrainian forces test-fire a Neptune cruise missile, 2019 (Gov't of Ukraine)

Published Mar 26, 2024 11:02 PM by The Maritime Executive

Ukraine's Navy says that it has damaged, destroyed or sunk about one-third of Russia's Black Sea Fleet since the beginning of the full scale invasion in 2022 - and it is still aiming for more. 

"Our ultimate goal is complete absence of military ships of the so-called Russian Federation in the Azov and Black Sea regions," Ukrainian Navy spokesman Dmitriy Pletenchuk said in an interview with the AP. 

Pletenchuk also added a fourth ship to this week's tally of hits: he claimed that the ex-Ukrainian Navy landing ship Kostiantyn Olshansky had been hit by a Neptune antiship missile and damaged enough to render it unusable in combat. 

After last weekend's missile strike on Sevastopol, the home base of the Black Sea Fleet, Ukraine's military said that it had hit two tank landing ships, the Azov and Yamal. Officials later added a third vessel, the surveillance ship Ivan Khurs. 

The fourth claimed hit, the Olshansky, was seized by Russian forces in the invasion of Crimea in 2014, and it had lain at berth in a mothballed state for years, Pletenchuk said. It is a Ropucha-class landing ship, one of 28 built in the Soviet era. Ukrainian forces have targeted these vessels for destruction, and have hit or sunk about half a dozen Ropuchas since the outbreak of the war. Pletenchuk claimed that the Russian Navy was refurbishing and reactivating the Olshansky as a replacement for these lost losses. 

The claims could not be immediately verified, and the Russian military has not acknowledged any losses this week. Satellite imaging obtained by Radio Liberty does appear to confirm claims of damage to a Russian Navy command building.