Ukraine Launches Drone-Boat Attack on Novorossiysk

Bomb-boat attack
Image courtesy Russian Ministry of Defense

Published Jul 4, 2024 8:23 PM by The Maritime Executive


Ukraine launched a drone attack on the port of Novorossiysk on Wednesday morning, the Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed.

Novorossiysk is a large commercial seaport in the northeastern corner of the Black Sea, about 350 nautical miles away from Ukrainian-controlled coastlines. Over the past year, it has become a safe haven for the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet, which has been repeatedly attacked by Ukraine's drone-boat and missile forces. Ukrainian units have destroyed or damaged an estimated 15 Russian ships since the beginning of the invasion in 2022, and the surviving vessels of the Black Sea Fleet have abandoned their home base in Crimea in favor of the relative security of Novorossiysk. 

The port is heavily defended with floating barriers, diver-detection units (dolphin pens), helicopter gunships and shore batteries. Despite these defenses, Ukraine continues to attack it with its long-range unmanned drone boats - the same devices it has used with success against Russian warships in the past. 

In a statement, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that its forces spotted and destroyed two Ukrainian drone boats as they approached Novorossiysk in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The reported damage was limited to light impacts to two buildings, according to local mayor Andrei Kravchenko.  

As a precaution, Kravchenko shut down access to a waterfront embankment and issued an air-raid warning. Authorities advised local residents to take shelter in a room facing away from the sea, and to stay away from windows. 

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack, nor reported any damage inflicted on Russian assets. 

The last round of drone attacks to reach Novorossiysk was on May 17, part of a massive wave of an estimated 100 aerial and surface drones launched at Russian targets across the front.