Ukrainian military says it sank a Russian landing ship in the Black Sea

In this 2015 photo, a Russian ship named Caesar Kunikov passes through the Dardanelles strait in Turkey en route to the Mediterranean Sea. (Burak Gezen/DHA via AP, File)

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s military said Wednesday it used high-tech naval drones to sink a Russian landing ship in the Black Sea, a report that has not been confirmed by Russian authorities.

The Caesar Kunikov amphibious ship sank 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) off Alupka, a city on the southern edge of the Crimean Peninsula that Moscow annexed in 2014, Ukraine’s General Staff said. It said the ship can carry 87 crew members. The ship was also transporting ammunition, a Ukrainian official said.


Sinking the vessel would be another embarrassing blow for the Russian Black Sea fleet and a significant success for Ukraine 10 days before the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the claim during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. He said questions should be addressed to the Russian military.

Several Russian military bloggers confirmed the attack on the ship but stopped short of confirming that it had been sunk.

Ukraine has moved onto the defensive in the war, hindered by low ammunition supplies and a shortage of personnel, but has kept up its strikes behind the largely static 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) front line.

It is the second time in two weeks that Ukrainian forces have said they sank a Russian vessel in the Black Sea. Last week, they published a video that they said showed naval drones assaulting the Russian missile-armed corvette Ivanovets.

Ukraine’s Military Intelligence, known by its Ukrainian acronym GUR, said its special operations unit “Group 13” sank the Caesar Kunikov using advanced Magura V5 sea drones on Wednesday. Explosions damaged the vessel on its left side, it said, though a heavily edited video it released was unclear. The same unit also struck on Feb. 1, according to officials.

GUR’s Andrii Yusov declined to say how many drones were deployed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email