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Ukraine destroys Tsyklon, Russia’s last surface Kalibr missile ship in occupied Crimea

Ukraine’s military updates that the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s missile carrier Tsiklon was destroyed in occupied Crimea on 19 May, not a minesweeper as earlier reports suggested. It reportedly was the last surface carrier of the Kalibr cruise missiles.
ukraine destroys tsyklon russia's last surface kalibr missile ship occupied crimea russian black sea fleet's project 22800 karakurt-class tsiklon april 2022 defense express
Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Project 22800 Karakurt-class Tsiklon ship in April 2022. Photo via Defense Express
Ukraine destroys Tsyklon, Russia’s last surface Kalibr missile ship in occupied Crimea

Ukraine’s military has confirmed destroying Russia’s newest missile carrier ship, the Tsiklon, in a strike on the occupied Crimean peninsula on 19 May. The successful attack hit the Tsiklon, a Karakurt-class corvette, while it was docked in Sevastopol, not the Kovrovets minesweeper, as earlier reports suggested.

With Ukraine’s Navy virtually non-existent, Ukraine employs missiles and the newly-created fleet of various maritime suicide drones to counter Russia’s dominance in the Black Sea. These tactics led to the destruction or severe damage to at least 17 vessels of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, including the sinking of the Moskva, the Fleet’s flagship, early in the all-out war.

According to updated information, overnight on 19 May, the Ukrainian Defense Forces hit a Russian Tsiklon missile ship of Project 22800 in Sevastopol,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported.

The initial reports of the attack on the Tsiklon originated from Russian propaganda Telegram channels, which claimed the strike was carried out using two long-range ATACMS missiles.

The strike is a major blow to Russia’s naval capabilities in the Black Sea region. The Tsiklon was one of Russia’s few remaining ships capable of carrying Kalibr cruise missiles. With its destruction, there are no longer any surface Kalibr missile carriers based in Crimea, as the Ukrainian Navy spokesman, Dmytro Pletenchuk said earlier.

Commissioned in summer 2023, the Tsiklon is one of the Russian Navy ships of the Karakurt class, designated Project 22800 Karakurt. These corvettes, classified as small missile ships in Russia, have been entering service since 2018. Another Karakurt-class corvette, Askold, was damaged by a Ukrainian missile strike in November 2023.

The attack followed previous Ukrainian maritime drone and missile strikes that had forced Russia to withdraw most major warships from occupied Crimean ports to safer locations in Russia’s ports on the eastern coast of the Black Sea.

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