Ukraine’s military says it destroyed a Russian missile ship from the Black Sea Fleet early Thursday, sinking the Ivanovets with a “direct hit” to the hull using naval drones off the coast of Crimea.
According to the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate, rescue operations for the Russian crew members on board the Ivanovets were “not successful.” On top of that, Kyiv says the obliterated ship was worth between $60 and $70 million.
Footage of the special operation purportedly captured the ship’s final moments, showing a massive explosion at the moment of impact. Russia’s Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the situation, but pro-Kremlin propagandist Yury Kotenok acknowledged the attack in an awkwardly worded post on Telegram claiming the ship “sank” while “repelling a nighttime attack” by Ukrainian forces.
— Defence intelligence of Ukraine (@DI_Ukraine) February 1, 2024
“The ship took three hits from naval drones. The crew fought until the end to keep the ship afloat,” he wrote.
Up to 40 crew members are thought to have been on board the ship at the time of the strike. The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, thought to be linked to Russian security services, said 32 crew members were evacuated from the ship before it sank, but one of them was hospitalized with serious injuries.