A Ukrainian drone destroyed two Russian Raptor-class patrol boats near Snake Island on Monday, Ukraine’s military chief said.
“Two Russian Raptor-class ships were destroyed early today near Zmiinyi (Snake) Island,” Chief of General Staff Valeriy Zaluzhniy wrote on his social media channels.
Zaluzhniy posted a 17-second video reportedly showing the moment a Ukrainian Bayraktar drone hit two Russian Raptor fast-attack craft near Snake Island in the Black Sea on Monday morning. “#Bayraktar works,” the military chief wrote, referring to the Bayraktar TB2, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle made by a Turkish company that allegedly helped sink the Russian flagship Moskva on April 14.
Ukraine has bought dozens of drones from Turkey since 2019, according to Al Jazeera.
Zaluzhniy said the drone hit two Raptor-class assault ships, built by Russian shipbuilder Pella. High-speed patrol boats are capable of participating in search and rescue, anti-sabotage and anti-terrorism operations.
“Together to victory!” Zaluzhny added.
The Russian patrol boats were reportedly destroyed near Snake Island, where Ukrainian border guards told the Russian warship Moskva to “fuck off” before being captured, and subsequently returned to Ukraine in a prisoner exchange.
Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, is located about 30 miles off the southern tip of the Ukrainian mainland. It has a strategic importance due to its location near the Romanian territory in the northwest of the Black Sea.
Russian officials have yet to comment on the reports. news week contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.
The incident comes weeks after the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet sank shortly after Ukraine claimed to have caused significant damage to the ship with Neptune missiles.
The Middle East Eye reported that the TB2 Bayraktar was used to assist in the sinking of the Moskva.
“Ukraine’s Neptune anti-ship missile has some guidance issues. A Bayraktar TB2 must have solved it by identifying the ship,” the news outlet reported, citing an unnamed source.
news week has not been able to independently verify the reports.
Russian officials claimed the Soviet-era ship was damaged after a fire on board caused munitions to detonate. The cause remains controversial.
The British Ministry of Defense in an intelligence update on Monday said more than a quarter of the Kremlin’s battalion tactical groups helping in the Ukraine war were likely to have been “combat ineffective”.
“Some of Russia’s most elite units, including the VDV Airborne Forces, have suffered the highest levels of attrition,” the update said. “It will probably take years for Russia to reconstitute these forces.”