KYIV-One of Russia’s biggest oil tankers was struck by a maritime drone, the latest salvo in a Ukrainian military campaign employing unmanned vehicles to attack far-away Russian targets by air and by sea.
Ukraine carried out a drone strike overnight on a Russian tanker in the Kerch Strait, a day after one of Moscow’s ships was hit in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian security source told AFP on Saturday. It was the latest attack around the Black Sea since Moscow exited a deal last month that had protected Ukrainian grain exports despite the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. “Overnight the (Ukrainian Security Service) SBU blew up the ‘SIG’, a large oil tanker of the Russian Federation that was transporting fuel for Russian troops,” the Ukrainian source said. The “successful special operation”, which involved a naval drone and explosives, was carried out jointly with the navy on Ukrainian territorial waters, the source said, adding that the ship was “well-loaded with fuel, so the ‘fireworks’ could be seen from afar”. In a video obtained by AFP purporting to show the attack, a vessel is seen approaching a large ship before the connection cuts off.
The Russian tanker SIG was hit around 11:20 pm (2020 GMT) Friday south of the Kerch Strait, Russia’s Federal Agency for Sea and Inland Water Transport said. The oil and chemical tanker is under US sanctions for supplying jet fuel to Russian forces in Syria supporting President Bashar al-Assad. The SIG suffered a hole at the waterline in the area of the engine room, “presumably as a result of an attack by a marine drone”, the agency said on Telegram. “The ship is afloat.”
Ukraine attack hits Russian warship at Black Sea base
Ukraine carried out a drone strike on a Russian navy ship at a Black Sea base, a Ukraine security source told AFP Friday, as Moscow said it had repelled a similar attack over annexed Crimea.
The number of attacks in the Black Sea has increased from both sides since Moscow exited a deal last month that had allowed Ukrainian grain exports via the shipping hub during the conflict between the two countries. In a video of the purported attack obtained by AFP, a naval drone is seen speeding towards the darkened silhouette of a military vessel before the connection abruptly cuts off.