Ukrainian MAGURA V5 kamikaze sea drone destroyed the Russian landing ship Caesar Kunikov

The Ukrainian military says it has destroyed a large Russian landing ship in the Black Sea off the coast of occupied Crimea in a combined operation of the armed forces and military intelligence.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine together with the military intelligence (GUR) have destroyed the Tsezar (Caesar) Kunikov, a large landing ship belonging to the occupiers,” the General Staff of Ukraine’s military said on February 14.

In picture Cesar Kunikov before it was sunk.

It said the vessel was struck by naval drones off the coast near the settlement of Alupka.

Russia has not commented on the Ukrainian claim, which could not be independently confirmed. But the Rybar Telegram channel, which is close to the Russian Defense Ministry, confirmed the attack, although without providing details.

In a separate message on Telegramaccompanied by a video purportedly showing the attack by Ukraine’s naval drones, the GUR said the operation was carried out by a special forces unit called Group 13, which used Magura V5 naval attack drones.

“The Tsezar Kunikov received critical holes…and began to sink,” the GUR said in its statement.

“It is symbolic that the Russian officer after whom the ship was named was killed exactly 81 years ago,” the GUR said, referring to an officer of the Soviet Naval Infantry who was killed on February 14, 1943, during a landing operation on the Black Sea coast.

The GUR said that a Russian operation to save the survivors was “unsuccessful,” although the anonymous Russian Telegram channel Two Majors, which publishes information from sources close to the security establishment, said that the crew is alive.

The Tsezar Kunikov, one of the largest Russian landing ships, was built in 1986 at a shipyard in the Polish port of Gdansk. It can transport equipment and more than 300 troops. The regular crew is 87.

The ship took part in Russia’s military operation in Georgia in 2008, supplied the Russian military group involved in the conflict in Syria, and participated in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It was damaged in 2022 by a Ukrainian missile attack in the Ukrainian port of Berdyansk.

Ukrainian forces last week said they had also sunk the Russian missile-armed corvette Ivanovets in the Black Sea.

In December, Ukraine said its missiles struck another Russian landing ship in Crimea.

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