A Russian navy landing ship was “completely destroyed” in an explosion while docked at the occupied Crimean port of Feodosia on 25 December, the UK Defense Ministry reported.
Russia had planned to utilize its 13-strong LST fleet to launch major amphibious operations during the invasion. As the war continued, the ships transitioned to providing important logistical support, augmenting the key Crimea Bridge connection.
According to British intel, the vessel was carrying explosive cargo when it was hit, causing a large secondary explosion.
“The incident takes the number of LSTs Russia has lost since the invasion to three: the Saratov sank on 24 March 2022, while the Minsk was functionally destroyed in dry dock on 13 September 2023. Two additional LSTs have likely been damaged,” the UK intel said.
Ukraine’s Air Force Commander Mykola Olehschuk said on 26 December, Ukraine’s air forces destroyed the Russian Navy’s Novocherkassk large landing ship in Feodosia Port, on the south coast of Russian-occupied Crimea, on 25 December.
The Novocherkassk was damaged in Berdiansk port in March 2022, and 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 Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet suffered the most significant blow in April 2022, marked by the sinking of its flagship, the Moskva cruiser, after being struck by two Ukrainian Neptune missiles.
In September 2023, a Ukrainian missile attack destroyed the Russian landing ship Minsk and submarine Rostov-on-Don in the Sevastopol shipyard in Russia-occupied Crimea. In the same month, the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol, Russia-occupied Crimea, was destroyed by Ukrainian missiles.