Referring to the Kremlin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, Interfax Russia reported on 26 December that Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ “strike on Feodosia and damage to the large landing ship Novocherkassk.”
Earlier on the same day, the Russian Defence Ministry reported the damage to the Novocherkassk, also claiming that Russian air defense units destroyed two Ukrainian Su-24 aircraft that launched missiles, according to Interfax Russia.
In the early hours of 26 December, Ukraine’s Air Force Commander Mykola Olehschuk said the country’s air force destroyed the Novocherkassk in Feodosia Port. Social media videos showed fire and the subsequent huge fireball from the detonation in the harbor:
Commenting on Oleshchuk’s report, the Ukrainian Air Force wrote on Telegram messenger that the ship was possibly loaded with Shahed explosive drones, which Russia uses in daily attacks on Ukrainian cities.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Telegram channel Krymskiy Veter shared today’s photo of Feodosia Port showing the half-submerged wreckage of the Ropucha-class ship, which suggests that the Novocherkassk was actually destroyed, not simply damaged.
The Novocherkassk was earlier damaged in Berdiansk port in March 2022, another large landing ship, Saratov, was destroyed in the same attack.
Earlier, Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk said that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the destruction of 15 Russian warships in the Black Sea, with an additional 12 suffering damage since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
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