Satellite images revealed severe damage to the Russian tank landing ship Novocherkassk Ukrainian strikes on a port In Crimea on Tuesday.
In images taken by Maxar, the ship can be seen burned and separated from the port, and appears to be partially submerged, with smoke billowing from the ship.
Ukraine claimed it destroyed the ship in its attack on the port of Feodosia in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula that Russia illegally annexed in 2014. Moscow claimed the ship was “damaged.”
The photo, when compared to a previous photo showing the ship before the strike, indicates a successful Ukrainian operation targeting the port.
A photo taken after the raid appears to show the Novocherkassk landing ship billowing with smoke and partially submerged.
A photo before the attack, for comparison, shows Novocherkassk intact.
A Ukrainian navy spokesman said on Wednesday that the number of those who may have been killed in the raid may become clearer over time because the peninsula is currently under Russian control.
“This area, unfortunately, is now occupied, and it is not easy to carry out relevant intelligence. I think that over time, we will get at least approximate numbers [of casualties] “What actually happened,” Ukrainian Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletinchuk said in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
“However, these ships are usually not left without a crew. Accordingly, even though they were in port at the time, a very large part of the crew had to be on board, the total crew there being about 80 people.
According to a US military fact sheet about Novocherkassk and other ships in the Ropucha class, the 369-foot (112.5 m) ship displaces about 3,450 tons, making it the same size as a US Navy littoral combat ship.
“Novocherkassk” carries a crew of about 87 people and can accommodate 237 soldiers, according to the US Army. It is not known how many people were on board the plane in the alleged Ukrainian attack.
The ship is designed for beach landings with bow and stern doors and has the capacity to accommodate up to 25 armored personnel carriers on its deck.
Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk, who said in a Telegram post after the attack that the ship was destroyed, also claimed that the ship was carrying Iranian-made Shahed attack drones.
He said Novocherkassk “followed” Moskva, the guided-missile cruiser that had been the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet before that. Sunk in April 2022 After being subjected to a Ukrainian missile attack.
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The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run TASS news agency that Novocherkassk had “suffered damage” in a Ukrainian attack.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin of the strike and damage to Novocherkassk, according to TASS, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
In an update on Wednesday, Crimea's Ministry of Health said one person died and four were injured as a result of the attack, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
CNN has not been able to independently verify either side's claims, but videos posted on social media showed large explosions in the port of Feodosia.
If confirmed, the alleged destruction of Novocherkassk would be the third example of significant losses of Russian military equipment in less than a week. In September, Ukraine also claimed that Novocherkassk's sister ship, the Minsk, had been destroyed in an attack on the Sevastopol naval base in Crimea.
The strike comes as Ukraine faces difficulties in its ground campaign in the east of the country.
Ukrainian General Valery Zalozhny warned on Tuesday that the city of Avdiivka could suffer the same fate as the destroyed city of Bakhmut in the next two or three months, while Ukrainian forces have now “withdrew to the outskirts” of the village of Marinka after fighting. With Russian forces.
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