Russian warship 'sinking' at key naval base after kamikaze Ukraine drone strike

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Russian warship
Russian warship 'sinking' at key naval base after kamikaze Ukraine drone strike

A Russian naval landing ship is badly damaged and listing after a suspected hit by an audacious kamikaze sea drone attack today on key port and naval base Novorossiysk.

A huge explosion was seen in the harbour after Vladimir Putin’s forces deployed two warships to counter the strikes. One of the vessels - believed to be the Olenegorsky Gornyak - was seen being towed towards harbour but badly listing to one side.

The Russian defence ministry earlier claimed there was no damage.

One of two Ukrainian marine drones was seen burning before dramatically exploding in the port which is a long distance - some 450 nautical miles - from the Kyiv-held waters where it was likely launched.

Elsewhere, there were loud explosions as Ukraine staged a nighttime attack on an oil depot in Feodosia, annexed Crimea.

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Russian warship 'sinking' at key naval base after kamikaze Ukraine drone strikeThe Novorossiysk naval base was attacked by two maritime drones today (Social media/east2west news)
Russian warship 'sinking' at key naval base after kamikaze Ukraine drone strikeThe ship can be seen listing to one side following the attack (Social media/east2west news)

Ship movements in key port Novorossiysk - the second largest run Russia after St Petersburg - were halted amid the drone strikes and sound of gunfire. Two Russian naval vessels - landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak and anti-sabotage boat Suvorovets - were deployed to shoot at the incoming surface drones.

The landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak is armed with two twin 57-mm AK-725 artillery mounts. It was transferred from the Northern Fleet to the Black Sea supposedly to combat naval drones. Locals reported seeing “a bright flash over the sea and explosions”. This was close to the facilities of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, a major international oil pipeline system which delivers oil from western Kazakhstan to Black Sea terminals at Novorossiysk.

Russian warship 'sinking' at key naval base after kamikaze Ukraine drone strikeRussia sent two warships to counter the strikes (Shot/east2west news)

It comes after Russian authorities accused Kyiv of another attack on Moscow on the same building hit in an early morning strike on Sunday. Kremlin officials have claimed that the intensified attacks on the capital region reflect failures in Ukraine's counteroffensive, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said over the weekend that "the war is gradually coming back to Russian territory", but stopped short of taking responsibility for the attacks.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in the early hours of Tuesday that it shot down two Ukrainian drones outside Moscow and jammed another, sending it crashing into a skyscraper in the Moscow City business district and damaging the building's facade.

Russian warship 'sinking' at key naval base after kamikaze Ukraine drone strikeThe Suvorovets anti-sabotage boat (Andrei Kravchenko/east2west news)

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the drone crashed into the same building that was damaged in a similar attack early Sunday. IQ-Quarter is just 4.5 miles from the Kremlin and has offices of several government agencies, including, reportedly, the headquarters of Russia's Ministry for Economic Development.

Zelensky's advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted that Moscow "is rapidly getting used to a full-fledged war, which, in turn, will soon finally move to the territory of the ‘authors of the war’ to collect all their debts", without confirming or denying Kyiv's involvement in the attack.

The attacks on Moscow and Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, follow a deadly Russian missile strike on Kryvyi Rih, a city in central Ukraine and Zelenskyy's hometown. Monday's strike partially destroyed a residential building and killed at least six people, wounding dozens more.

Ryan Fahey

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