Ukrainian-made drones carry out ‘unprecedented attack’ on Russian warships in Sevastopol

1 November 2022, 06:41 PM
The Admiral Makarov frigate was probably attacked by drones (Photo:Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation)

The Admiral Makarov frigate was probably attacked by drones (Photo:Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation)

The use of sea surface and aerial drones to attack Russian warships in their base in Sevastopol was an unparalleled success, editor-in-chief of Censor.NET outlet Yuriy Butusov said in an interview with Radio NV on Oct. 30.

"From a technical point of view, these are absolutely unprecedented events, which are now, I think, the main topic of discussion for all the militaries in the world,” said the journalist.

“For the first time, a large-scale attack was carried out by surface drones, unmanned aerial vehicles.”

He stated that the typical means of response and defense of the Russian naval base had failed to cope with this attack.

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Butusov noted that one of the ships that the surface drones approached and probably hit was a frigate of the same type as the Admiral Makarov (it was previously reported that it had been designated the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet after the sinking of the missile cruiser Moskva).

According to the editor-in-chief of Censor.NET, in addition to Admiral Makarov, at least two more Russian landing ships were struck.

He added that it is known that simultaneously with the attack of surface drones, the Russian Black Sea Fleet vessels were attacked by drones from the air.

"The most interesting thing: obviously, all these drones (for an air attack and sea drones, surface drones) were made by Ukrainian specialists; everything was made by some people who have a fairly high level of engineering knowledge,” said Butusov.

“And, of course, the coordination, the fact that there was a simultaneous strike by drones from the air and from the sea – this is an absolutely unprecedented technical task in its scale. Realizing that such an operation was carried out for the first time in the world, I think it can be regarded as a huge technical success.”

The Russian occupation authorities in Ukraine’s Crimea announced on Oct.29 there had been an attack by drones in the waters of Sevastopol Bay.

The Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukraine and the United Kingdom of being behind the attack. The Russians claimed that they had allegedly "destroyed all air targets." They maintained that "the attack by the Ukrainian military" took place "under the guidance of British specialists who are in Ochakiv (a town in Ukraine’s Mykolaiv Oblast, about 200 kilometers to the north-west of Sevastopol)."

The Russian Ministry of Defense said that, in addition to the warship the Ivan Golubets, "minor damage" was caused to a protective barrier in the south bay.

Ukraine’s South Operational Command said that the explosions in Sevastopol could have been caused by unsuccessful launches of air defense missiles.

The UK Ministry of Defense rejected the Kremlin’s accusations that the UK had been involved in the attack on Russian Black Sea Fleet warships in Sevastopol.

The U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War said in its Oct. 29 report that social media footage documented an unknown number of unmanned surface vehicles striking at least one Grigorovich-class frigate in Sevastopol on Oct. 29.

The Russians did not acknowledge the damage to the frigate, just as the Russian Defense Ministry denied there had been any damage to the cruiser Moskva, which was later found to have sunk.

The ISW stressed that attacks on warships in wartime are legitimate military actions, not terrorist attacks. Ukraine's decision to strike the frigate, which can launch Kalibr cruise missiles, makes sense at this time, given Russia's intensifying campaign of cruise missile attacks on Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure.

"If Kyiv ordered this attack, it would have been a proportionate, even restrained, response to the extensive Russian strategic bombing campaign attacking civilian targets throughout Ukraine over the past few weeks," the analysts added.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has three Grigorovich-class frigates, each capable of launching Kalibr cruise missiles.

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