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Video: Ukraine Claims Sinking Russian Tug Used in Supply of Crimea

Russian tug Crimea
Screen shot of targeting of Russian tug

Published Jun 6, 2024 12:32 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

Ukrainian forces are claiming the destruction of a Russian supply tug that was being used to support the forces in Crimea. Reports are that this was the latest in a series of attacks designed to disrupt the supply lines into Crimea.

The official statement said overnight on June 6 a special unit launched an attack on the Crimean coast and that “Saturn (the name of the tug) will no longer sail.” Other statements are saying that it was either the Saturn or Proteus.

Project 498 tugs are twin-screw harbor tugs approximately 300 tons each. They are reported to be Soviet-era vessels created in the 1960s with about a capacity of 46 tons. They are used both for mooring operations and transporting materials. The tugs were reported to be ice-classed and equipped with firefighting equipment.

While it would be the first successful Ukrainian strike on this class of vessel analysts note it would be considered less significant versus the patrol boats and landing ships previously destroyed. However, it shows that Ukraine has developed a capability to break through Russian barriers.

 

 

Describing the attack, Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence unit said Russia has placed barriers around critical targets including using old barges to protect the base of major bridges. They said the harbor near Chornomorske on the northwest of the Crimea peninsular was protected with a barrier possibly of old oil drums.

Ukraine used its “kamikaze surface drones” with the first one punching a hole in the barrier. The operator of the second drone reportedly pauses and looks for the gap before entering the harbor and searching for a target. A third drone was reportedly also deployed in the attack. The video blacks out after targeting and approaching the tug.

Unconfirmed reports are saying that another vessel might have been damaged in the Black Sea. Ukraine is also claiming other attacks in recent days damaging a civilian ferry also being used to supply Crimea. Russian officials denied the recent attacks and have not yet commented on today’s report.