KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian forces have demonstrated their growing power in the Black Sea by reportedly sinking the Russian Ivanovets warship near occupied Crimea in a sophisticated overnight attack using multiple sea drones.
According to Ukraine’s military intelligence, a grainy video was released showing several sea drones attacking the Russian corvette, ultimately leading to it listing, exploding, and sinking into the water. The value of the sunk warship is estimated to be approximately $60m-$70m [£47m-£55m].
The Ivanovets is a small missile warship with a usual crew size of about 40 people, and it was not immediately clear if there were any casualties as a result of the attack. Despite the lack of an immediate comment from Russia, pro-Kremlin military bloggers close to Moscow confirmed that the Ivanovets warship was hit.
This successful attack is just one example of Ukraine’s efforts to push back Russia’s early dominance in the Black Sea. By utilizing long-range missile attacks and the innovative use of sea drones, Ukraine has managed to force Moscow to withdraw a significant portion of its Black Sea fleet from Crimea to the Russian mainland, while also boosting its own economy by restarting grain exports from nearby ports.
The sea drones, called “Sea Babies,” are based on modified jetskis, cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, operate in swarms, and can be controlled remotely. They have also been used in previous attacks targeting military ships, a base in Sevastopol, and Novorossiysk harbor, as well as in the sinking of the Russian flagship Moskva using Neptune cruise missiles.
In light of these successes, Ukraine’s chief military commander has highlighted the country’s rapid development in drone technology, emphasizing the significant advantage it provides in avoiding positional warfare where Ukraine lacks the advantage in soldiers and artillery.
In conclusion, Ukraine’s use of innovative technology and tactics has proven to be a bright spot for the country amidst a series of political disagreements and military setbacks, giving hope for its ability to continue defending itself effectively against Russian aggression.