At least three Russian Black Sea Fleet ships damaged in Sevastopol, investigation shows

30 October 2022, 01:15 PM

At least three Russian Black Sea Fleet ships, including the flagship Admiral Makarov, were hit by drones in the Sevastopol Bay in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula early on Oct. 29, the GeoConfirmed volunteer group reported on Twitter.

GeoConfirmed volunteers analyzed photos and videos, including footage from unmanned surface vehicles (USV), which roamed the harbor and sea near Sevastopol.

In particular, the investigators published footage of an attack on an Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate – of which there are three in the Black Sea Fleet, including the Admiral Makarov. The footage ends abruptly, presumably due to the drone striking the ship.

Video of day

“The footage stops when the USV seems to impact on a vessel, the USV likely exploded,” GeoConfirmed tweeted.

In another video released by GeoConfirmed, an attack can be observed on a Natya-class minesweeper – the Ivan Golubets. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the vessel received “minor” damage.

Yet more released footage shows another USV roaming between the docked ships inside the harbor, probably looking for a target of opportunity.

“Based on the footage we can conclude that it was near at least four ships and for attacking the target it did almost a U turn,” the group stated.

According to GeoConfirmed, based on all the footage, at least between six and eight drones were involved in the attack, with three being used on ships.

“Based on all available footage, it’s highly likely that: USV’s penetrated the Sevastopol harbor defense, USV’s were used, at least three ships were struck with an USV, GeoConfirmed said, noting that they believe Ukraine to have operated the drones.

Explosions in Sevastopol Bay: what we know

Explosions rocked the Russian-occupied city of Sevastopol in Crimea early on Oct. 29. Kremlin puppets in the city’s occupation administration, and the Russian Defense Ministry, announced a “drone attack” in the waters of the Sevastopol Bay, allegedly repelled by Russian ships.

At first, they said that “no objects in the city were hit,” and “the situation is under control.”

However, the Russian Defense Ministry later announced there had been allegedly “minor damage” caused to the minesweeper Ivan Golubets as a result of a “drone attack” in Sevastopol.

At the same time, local media outlets reports that damage had also been taken by the frigate Admiral Makarov frigate – a cruise missile carrier that has repeatedly shelled Ukrainian territory. In particular, they report damage to the radar system on the frigate and a “hole in the minesweeper.”

Russia’s Defense and Foreign Ministries have blamed Ukraine and Great Britain for the attack on the Black Sea Fleet ships, calling it a “terrorist attack.” The Russians claim the preparation of the attack was allegedly carried out “under the leadership of British specialists who are in the town of Ochakiv in Mykolayiv Oblast.”

The UK Ministry of Defense has rejected Russian accusations of involvement, calling the accusations “false statements of an epic scale.”

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military’s Operational Command South said the explosions in Sevastopol could have been caused by unsuccessful launches of anti-aircraft missiles.

Following the attack, Russia announced on Oct. 29 that it was suspending its participation in a UN-brokered grain deal that saw a number of Ukrainian ports be partially de-blockaded for export. Later, Russian media outlets reported that Russia had also officially notified the UN Secretary General about its decision to cease cooperation on the initiative, specifically naming the attacks on military vessels used to shell Ukraine as the reason for their decision. Russia then tacked on a number of falsehoods involving the attack, claiming that they were allegedly carried out against Black Sea Fleet ships and civilian vessels “involved in ensuring the security of the grain corridor.”

Both Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, and the Office of the President, have called Moscow’s actions “food blackmail” and emphasized that Russia was withdrawing from the agreement under a false pretext.

In turn, the United Nations urged “all sides” to refrain from any actions that could jeopardize the implementation of the agreement, adding they were in contact with the Russian authorities.

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