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Ukraine May Have Sunk Another Russian Warship

Ukraine has used one-way attack drones to target Russian warships (SBU file image)
Ukraine has used one-way attack drones to target Russian warships (SBU file image)

Published Jan 22, 2024 3:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

A Ukrainian partisan group reports that Ukraine's Navy sank a small Russian warship in December, without acknowledgement from either Moscow or Kyiv. 

Satellite imagery appears to confirm that a small surface combatant or patrol boat has sunk alongside a pier in Sevastopol's inner harbor. 

Based on images taken before the sinking, the vessel appears to measure 180 feet long and has gray topsides. This would be consistent with a Project 1241 Molniya missile corvette (NATO reporting name Tarantul), of which several are in service in the Black Sea Fleet. 

Open-source analysts and Ukrainian media have identified the vessel as a Project 205P patrol boat (NATO reporting name Stenka), a much smaller patrol vessel with a similar Soviet name.

The timing of the satellite imagery suggests that the vessel sank in December. Ukrainian media outlets have reported it as a likely hit from a drone-boat strike a few weeks back; Russia has not acknowledged the loss, and the Ukrainian military does not always claim responsibility for successful attacks. 

Though challenged by equipment shortages on the battlefield ashore, Ukraine has had considerable success attacking Russia's Black Sea Fleet, both in port and under way. Among many other strikes, in September it destroyed a Kilo-class submarine and a tank landing ship in Sevastopol, then hit the fleet headquarters building with a cruise missile. In October it hit a patrol ship off the coast of Sevastopol; in November it destroyed two small landing ships and a brand new corvette; and in December it destroyed another landing ship, setting off large secondary explosions. In its highest-profile attack, in 2022 Ukraine sank the fleet's flagship, the cruiser Moskva