Russian tanker damaged in suspected Ukrainian drone attack

A Russian tanker was damaged late on Friday night during what appears to have been a seaborne drone attack in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

A Russian tanker has been reportedly damaged by a suspected Ukrainian drone attack on Friday night.
A Russian tanker has been reportedly damaged by a suspected Ukrainian drone attack on Friday night.  © REUTERS

The Russian state news agency Tass reported the tanker's engine room was damaged, but the ship's crew was safe, citing the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Novorossiysk.

According to media reports, the attack was caused by a Ukrainian drone strike. The information could not be independently verified.

Earlier, Ukrainian media said on Telegram that three explosions had been reported near the strategic Crimean bridge, which connects Ukraine to the Moscow-occupied Crimean Peninsula. After the explosions, Russian fighter jets were scrambled, the lights on the bridge were reportedly out and the traffic blocked off.

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A Russian radio message to ships in the Kerch Strait was posted online calling on ships in the area to exercise increased vigilance in relation to an attack by air and sea drones.

A representative of the Russian occupation administration of Crimea spoke on Telegram of an "active threat situation."

Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels also suggested that a drone might have hit a Russian tanker. In a radio conversation published online from the tanker that was suspected to have been hit, a crew member says that the engine room is flooded and the ship has been stopped.

The information could not be independently verified.

Ukraine launches drone attack on Russian port city

A Ukrainian drone also attacked a Russian landing ship in the port city of Novorossiysk.
A Ukrainian drone also attacked a Russian landing ship in the port city of Novorossiysk.  © via REUTERS

The news comes just after a Ukrainian drone struck a Russian landing ship in the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk early on Friday.

Friday's attack was confirmed by Moscow, but its Defense Ministry claimed no damage had been caused, despite videos and photos showing the contrary. This time, Moscow admitted the damage.

The port city of Novorossiysk, located in the Krasnodar region, is a base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and an important location for oil exports.

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More than 17 months after the start of Russia's unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the situation in the Black Sea is particularly tense, after Moscow canceled an agreement to allow for the export of Ukrainian grain a few weeks ago.

Ukraine has repeatedly attacked Russian naval vessels and also the bridge to the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea.

The Russian forces meanwhile frequently bombard Ukrainian coastal regions, severely damaging port infrastructure and food storage facilities.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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