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Ukrainian naval drones sink large Russian landing ship Caesar Kunikov

It is the fourth landing ship from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Ukrainian military to sink since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Caesar Kunikov is a large landing ship with a crew comprising 87 personnel.
Cesar Kunikov.
Russian landing ship Cesar Kunikov. Credit: Defense Expess
Ukrainian naval drones sink large Russian landing ship Caesar Kunikov

Ukraine military intelligence agency (HUR) confirmed the destruction of the landing ship Caesar Kunikov of the Russian Black Sea Fleet overnight on 14 February.

It is the fourth landing ship from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet to be sunk since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The most recent attack was on 25 December 2023, when the Russian Navy’s Ropucha class Landing Ship Tank (LST) Novocherkassk was destroyed following a Ukrainian strike at the port of Feodosia, the south coast of Russian-occupied Crimea, the UK Defense Ministry reported.

According to the HUR, the Ukrainian military sank the Russian landing ship near the Crimean city of Alupka using Magura V5 marine drones.

Caesar Kunikov is a large landing ship of Project 775, with a length of 112.5 meters, a width of 15 meters, and a draft of 3.7 meters. The ship’s crew comprises 87 personnel.

Caesar Kunikov can be used for laying minefields. It can accommodate various loading options, including 150 landing personnel and 10 T-55 tanks with a crew of 40, 12 PT-76 landing tanks with a crew of 36, or a unit consisting of three T-55 tanks with a crew of 12, three 120-mm mortars, three 2G27 combat vehicles, four ZIL-130 trucks, four GAZ-66 trucks, and one GAZ-69 light off-road vehicle.

The landing personnel capacity is 147 personnel, and the ship can transport a load of 650 tons over a distance of 4,700 miles.

The Soviet officer, commander of a landing detachment, Caesar Lvovych Kuunikov, after whom the ship is named, died on 14 February 1943 and was buried in Gelendzhik, where Russian President Vladimir Putin has a bunker.

At the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the landing ship Caesar Kunikov was in the port of Berdiansk and sustained damage when Ukrainian forces sank the landing ship Saratov in March 2022.

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that on the night of 14 February, its air defense systems allegedly shot down nine drones over Russia and in the Black Sea.

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