Russian warship protecting pipelines attacked by 3 Ukrainian marine drones in the Black Sea, Russian officials say
- Ukraine attacked the Ivan Khurs with three uncrewed speedboats, Russian officials said.
- The raid on the Russian warship in the Black Sea failed to cause any damage, they claimed.
A Russian warship was attacked by three unmanned speedboats from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Russia's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
In a Telegram post, Russian officials said that Ukraine attempted to attack the Ivan Khurs ship with three uncrewed speedboats in the Black Sea early Wednesday morning.
Footage posted by Russian officials shows the Russian ship firing shots, striking and destroying one of the uncrewed boats.
"All the enemy's boats have been neutralized by standard weapons of the Russian warship 140 kilometers north-east of the Bosphorus Strait," Russia's Defesce Ministry wrote of all three naval drones.
However, other footage from an on-board camera shared on Telegram and pro-Ukrainian social media on Thursday appears to show that at least one Ukrainian uncrewed vessel does impact the Russian warship. Insider was not able to independently verify the footage.
No comment on the situation was immediately available from Kyiv, Reuters reported.
The Ivan Khurs is one of Russia's most modern ships in the Black Sea fleet and has a crew of 120. It was launched in 2017. It is a reconnaissance ship armed with 14.5 mm machine guns and portable air defense systems, said The New Voice of Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the Ivan Khurs was protecting the TurkStream and Blue Stream pipelines, which carry gas from Russia to Turkey. It "continues to fulfill its tasks," following the incident, said the ministry, per Reuters.
Last September, the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines carrying gas from Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea were blown up in an act of "gross sabotage," according to an investigation by Swedish officials. While many countries believe Russia was likely the culprit, the responsibility for the 2022 explosions remains unclear.
After the sabotage of the Baltic Sea pipelines, Russia is eager to have Turkey as a vital part of the country's energy exports, Reuters reported.
The attack on the Ivan Khurs coincides with rising tensions in the region over a recent UN Black Sea Grain Initiative. A consideration of the safety of the ships carrying grain on the sea was not mentioned in the ministry's post.
The initiative, signed in Turkey last year, is part of a plan to "resume vital food and fertilizer exports from designated Ukrainian seaports," according to the UN, as the long-running war between Ukraine and Russia continues.
Last year, Ukrainian officials accused Russia of purposefully slowing grain shipments in the area, the New York Times reported. Russia said the West is not removing obstacles for Russian exporters of gains, per Reuters.
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