A dramatic video has demonstrated how Ukraine is stepping up its use of kamikaze boats to attack Vladimir Putin’s warship in the Black Sea.
Russia says the Priazovye warship came under fire from six unmanned vessels.
Footage shows the destruction of one of the kamikaze boats, but also the vulnerability of Putin’s naval vessels.
Russia alleges that as with earlier attacks, an American RQ-4B Global Hawk drone conducted reconnaissance in the Black Sea.
The Priazovye was in roughly the same area as the Ivan Khurs spy ship when it was attacked by surface drones last month.
A dramatic video has shown how Ukraine is stepping up its use of kamikaze boats to attack Vladimir Putin’s warship in the Black Sea
Russia says the Priazovye warship came under fire from six unmanned vessels. Pictured: A Russian soldier is purportedly seen firing at the drone in the distance
In footage released by the Russian MoD (pictured), a large explosion is seen in the water. Russia said it destroyed the attacking drones before they struck the Priazovye
Russia said both the Priazovye and Ivan Khurs had been monitoring the security of undersea gas pipelines – and speculated Ukraine may want to attack these supply routes.
Military expert Vasily Dandykin said: ‘This is the second case.
‘The ship was in the same area as Ivan Khurs.’
The drone attacks came in two waves of three, said war expert Andrew Medvedev.
The bid to sabotage the Priazovye reconnaissance ship was repelled with on-deck machine guns, according to Russian accounts.
Ukraine is believed to have come close to sinking the Ivan Chars in the attack last month, with a video filmed by a camera on-board a drone appearing to show the unmanned vehicle striking the hull of the warship.
Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko said the unmanned marine drone exploded close to the reconnaissance warship.
He said it ‘exploded right at the side of the ship and seriously damaged it’.
Gerashchenko said that the Ivan Khurs ‘was definitely damaged, and perhaps was even on its side’, in what would be a huge blow for Vladimir Putin’s campaign.
Russian sources said the vessel was undamaged – but offered no proof of this.
If correct, Ukraine’s claims would counter Moscow’s that three drones were destroyed before reaching the ship.
The footage appears to show a drone avoiding oncoming fire as it flies low over the water
It homes in on the military vessel, which Ukraine claims is the Ivan Khurs – one of Vladimir Putin’s most modern spy warships
The drone gets closer, evading what appear to be flashes of gunfire trying to take it out
As the drone approaches the warship the image blurs and then cuts out – making it difficult to know whether it performed a successful strike on it
The incredible footage released last month showed the drone speeding over the water towards the vessel, before it appeared to crash into the hull as the footage blurs and then cuts out – presumably because the drone exploded.
On May 24, Russia said Ukraine’s armed forces had launched an ‘unsuccessful’ attack on the warship.
They said Ukraine had attacked using three unmanned speedboats at 5.30am. Earlier footage showed the moment a drone was shot down, exploding in a ball of fire.
The Russian Defence Ministry earlier reported that all three Ukrainian boats attacking the Khurs were destroyed.
Russian sources said at the time that that the spy ship, which is part of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, remains afloat but there has been no independent confirmation of this.
And in an incredible admission, they also said the drone may have hit the ship, but failed to explode. Moscow earlier said that: ‘All three naval drones were destroyed from regular arms of the Russian vessel’.
The Ivan Khurs reconnaissance ship was in international waters in the Black Sea
Footage released on May 24 showed one kamikaze drone blown out of the water as it zigzagged towards the Khurs.
Initial volleys from the Russian warship missed the swivelling drone – but then it suffered a direct hit, exploding in a fireball.
The second footage appeared to show either a direct hit, or that the drone was destroyed very close to the Khurs.
The incident indicates that Putin’s navy is no longer master of the Black Sea.
The spy ship, launched in 2017, was in international waters some 40 nautical miles north of the Bosphorus Strait, according to reports.
‘There is reason to believe that the drones were launched from a commercial civilian vessel,’ said one Russian channel.
A Telegram channel later alleged the ship had been attacked from a grain carrying vessel – but this was disputed by Russian sources.
The routing of the Yuriy Ivanov class (Project 18280) signals intelligence vessel was not immediately clear.
In April 2022, Ukraine sank the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet with missile strikes in one of Putin’s biggest humiliations of the 15-month war.