NIn a second statement, the GUR stated that the amphibious assault ship had been parked for ten days near a special mooring wall, from which the Russians “load the ships with weapons and military equipment.”

According to a preliminary visual assessment of the operation, the ship “was loaded during the sinking.”

GUR spokesman Andri Yusov also told Channel 24 on Ukrainian television that “most of the crew of the destroyed ‘Caesar Kunikov’ died”, adding that “the ship sank and could not be recovered”.

Hours earlier, the Ukrainian military secret services had already indicated, in a first statement, that “the search and rescue operation for the occupants [russos] was not successful.”

The ship was one of the newest in the Russian fleet and had the capacity to carry 87 crew members, according to GUR, a structure of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, which did not provide details about the number of people on board at the time of the attack.

The Ukrainian military secret services stated that the “Caesar Kunikov” was attacked by Ukrainian Magura V5 naval ‘drones’ (unmanned devices) in an operation by Group 13 of the GUR special forces.

As a result of the attack, the ship suffered significant holes on its port side and began to sink.

The GUR also said that Russia confirmed the sinking through radio communications from pilots who flew over the area in helicopters to inspect it.

In this intercepted communication, the pilots allegedly reported that they only saw “debrisage and fuel stains”.

This morning, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg revealed that “the Ukrainians managed to cause major losses to the Russian Navy in the Black Sea”, during an operation that he described as “a great success”.

The Russian warship was destroyed in territorial waters that legally belong to Ukraine, near Alupka, in the south of the occupied Crimean peninsula.

Ukrainian Navy spokesman Dmitry Pletchenchuk told Radio Liberty that only five of the 13 ships in the Russian fleet remain in service in the Black Sea.

The ship sunk by the GUR and the Ukrainian armed forces had been used by Russia in its wars in Ukraine, Syria and Georgia, Kiev’s military intelligence added.

According to data from the Ukrainian armed forces, Russia has lost a third of its Black Sea fleet due to Ukrainian drone or missile attacks since the start of the war.

Read Also: Kyiv claims destruction of Russian warship off Crimea


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