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10 Feb, 2024 12:11

Ukrainian ‘terrorist attack’ on civilian ships foiled – Moscow

The Russian military has destroyed several unmanned boats, the Defense Ministry has said
Ukrainian ‘terrorist attack’ on civilian ships foiled – Moscow

The Russian Navy has repelled a Ukrainian maritime drone attack on civilian ships in the Black Sea, the Defense Ministry in Moscow has said.

In a statement on Saturday, the ministry said Kiev had attempted to stage a “terrorist” attack on Russian civilian cargo ships in the southwestern part of the Black Sea using several unmanned boats. It did not provide details on the number of vessels targeted or their cargos.

The attack was repelled by patrol ships and naval aircraft, officials said, adding that one Ukrainian sea drone was destroyed by cannon fire while the others were suppressed by electronic warfare systems. The ministry did not say how many boats were involved in the attack.

“Civilian transport ships and ships of the Russian Navy sustained no damage in the attack,” the ministry stated.

The incident comes after the ministry stated on Friday that a Russian patrol warship had spotted and destroyed a Ukrainian naval drone that was heading toward the Crimean Peninsula.

Kiev actively started to use unmanned boats last year, most notably in its attack on the Crimean Bridge in July. The raid damaged the strategic link between the peninsula and other parts of southern Russia, and claimed the lives of a Russian married couple, also injuring their 14-year-old daughter.

In August, Moscow said Ukraine had used three maritime drones to attack Russian cargo vessels en route to the Turkish Straits. All the unmanned boats were destroyed, officials stated at the time.

Amid the conflict with Kiev and the standoff with the West, President Vladimir Putin announced in October that Russian MiG-31 fighter jets armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles would conduct routine patrol missions in the neutral zone over the Black Sea.

The Russian leader insisted that the decision was “not a threat” to anyone, but noted that the US had dispatched two aircraft carrier groups to the Mediterranean after the latest security crisis broke out in the Middle East.