Ukraine’s naval drone commander claims Vladimir Putin’s entire Black Sea fleet could be destroyed.
Known only as callsign13, he fulfilled a life goal to sink a Russian warship when two were blasted in the waters near Choronomorske, in Crimea, on November 10.
He is currently stationed at a secret base on the Dnipro river where in his arsenal is a sea fleet of drones with enough explosives to wipe out Russia’s entire Black Sea navy.
Callsign13 now has his eyes set on ‘sinking something bigger’, he told The Times.
Talking about how drones managed to avoid a spray of bullets being fired from machine guns to wipe out a Shark and Serna-class landing craft, the Russians unable to stop them despite knowing they were coming.
A Ukrainian drone boat washes up near the home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet near Crimea. Ukraine used the drones to destroy two Russian warships last month
A landing boat with Russian marines was destroyed by Ukrainian Army’s drone at a northwestern shore of the Black Sea in September
‘It was my life’s goal to sink a Russian ship and we sank two of them at once,’ he said. ‘And as far as I know, no one had ever done this before anywhere.’
One of the successes of the conflict is Ukraine’s ability to push back Russia’s fleet opening up corridors for its economy and the global supply.
It was something which has been noted by Lord Cameron when he visited Odesa last month.
He said: ‘When you look at the big picture, what’s happened recently is the Ukrainians have pushed the Russian Navy right back across the Black Sea, they opened a shipping lane to get their exports out, their economy is growing.
‘And of course, they’re knocking on the door of both NATO and the EU and getting a very warm response.
‘These are huge achievements. And our job today is to build on those achievements and work out what other concrete steps we can take to help the Ukrainians in their struggle, and to show that Russian aggression must never pay.’
But callsign13 has another dream to cripple Putin’s navy.
‘My dream is to sink even more Russian ships, much larger ones,’ he said.
‘So many that they shouldn’t be able to sail at all. Do we have the capability to wipe out the entire Black Sea fleet? Yes. And we’re working on that.’
Just two days ago Ukraine destroyed one of Putin’s newly-built warships in a daring missile strike in Russian-annexed Crimea.
The downed vessel was named as the newly-built Askold missile ship, one of the most modern in Vladimir Putin’s navy.
Footage shows the strike hit Butoma shipyard in Kerch, close to Putin’s major bridge linking the annexed peninsula to Russia
Russian and Ukrainian media reports say that Askold, Russia’s newest missile carrier (pictured), was hit in 4 November 2023 missile attack on Crimea
Moscow admitted to losing a ship in an attack by 13 cruise missiles, but did not specify which one.
Footage shows the strike hit Butoma shipyard in Kerch, close to Putin’s major bridge linking the annexed peninsula to Russia.
Since launching its counteroffensive against Moscow’s forces this summer, Kyiv has ramped up attacks on the peninsula in a bid to suppress Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet.
According to state media, Russia’s defence ministry said: ‘On November 4, the Ukrainian army launched 15 cruise missiles at the B.E. Butoma (Zaliv) shipyard in the city of Kerch.
‘Air defence systems shot down 13 of the cruise missiles. As a result of being hit by an enemy cruise missile, a ship located at the plant was damaged.’
The ministry did not say how badly the ship was damaged or name which ship was attacked.
Debris from the downed missiles also fell on a nearby dock, but no-one was injured, Crimea’s Russian-installed governor Sergei Aksyonov said.
The nearby Crimean bridge to the Russian mainland was briefly shut on Saturday for undisclosed reasons.
Ukraine announced the attack on Saturday and confirmed details on Sunday.
‘On the evening of November 4, the Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out successful strikes on the maritime and port infrastructure of the Zaliv shipyard in the temporarily occupied Kerch,’ it said.
Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of Ukraine’s Air Force, referred to the Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship sunk by Ukrainian missiles on April 14, 2022 in a Telegram post, in which he said: ‘I hope another ship has followed the Moskva.’
The moment Russian ‘Zaliv’ ship building factory in Kerch, Crimea was hit
Moscow admitted to losing a ship in an attack by 13 cruise missiles
The Askold is a Project 22800 Karakurt warship, and three are being built at the Russian-occupied shipyard
Ukrainian sources later indicated the destroyed vessel was the Kalibr-missile carrying 197ft-long Askold, which was poised to enter service, or one of two others of the same Karakurt class.
Some accounts say it was struck three times by the French version of the Storm Shadow missile.
‘The ship has not even taken part in sailing or combat yet – it was undergoing some final testing work, so that it could then go to sea and fight against our state,’ said Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat.
The Askold is a Project 22800 Karakurt warship, and three are being built at the Russian-occupied shipyard.
Some accounts say the Askold had moved to Novorossiysk, like many Russian Black Sea warships, further from Ukraine’s missile range.
The other two being built in Kerch are the Amur and Cyclone, and like the Askold were due in service this year.