A video shared by Twitter user Capt_Navy (a former Russian naval officer residing in Sevastopol area), shows a fast craft (likely an unmanned surface vessel – USV) approached the naval base of Sevastopol at high speed. The video clearly shows heavy Russian fire, likely from the military base’s harbor protection units, on the ship. Although the video does not show any damage to the ship, the user said that the speedboat was destroyed.
Another social media post reports that jet-skis were used during the attack. The video at the link shows a jet-ski being destroyed. The jet-ski features a large box at the rear. The role of that box is for now not clear.
Russian sources on the Telegram social media report that 9 UAVs and 2 USVs were destroyed in the attack. This was not the first “drone attack” against Sevastopol naval base:
On October 29 2022 seven USV attacked the Russian Navy at Sevastopol. Barely the size of a canoe, they raced across the waves, skimming towards their intended targets. A frigate and minesweeper were hit. This attack was historically significant.
Another USV attack took place on April 24 2023. As a consequence, Russia recently increased the defenses of the strategic naval base, as reported last month by Naval News.
One day later, on July 17, 2023, both Russian and Ukrainian media outlets announced a new assault conducted by surface and air drones. This time Ukraine targeted the critical Kerch Bridge, which connects mainland Russia to Crimea. The Russian Government’s Anti-Terrorism Committee and Ukrainian officials both say the explosions were caused by Ukrainian drones, reportedly operated by Ukraine’s SBU and Navy.
Here are some photos showing the status of the bridge after the assault. The railroad to the left suffered no damages:
Two people from Russia’s Belgorod region, a mother and father, were killed in the “emergency” on the Crimean bridge and their daughter was injured, the region’s governor said on Telegram.
This attack too was not a first. Last year, another huge blast partially damaged the crossing, causing parts of it to collapse. On October 8th, 2022, an explosion occurred on the road bridge of the Kerch Strait Bridge. The explosion caused two two-lane vehicular spans of the bridge to collapse into the water and a train on the railroad to catch on fire. The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. The bridge is a direct link to mainland Russia from Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014. Ukrainians consider the Kerch bridge as a hated symbol of Russian occupation.
Ukrainian media outlets cited unnamed sources suggesting the Ukrainian domestic security service, along with the navy, had been responsible for the attack. Some reports suggested underwater drones may have been used:
Resident UA TG Channel: Our source in the Ukrainian president’s office said that the attack on the Crimean bridge was carried out using the British REMUS 600 autonomous underwater robot with an additional load of explosives. Thanks to its ability to move under water at a depth of… pic.twitter.com/QJZgIyg15I
— Lord Bebo (@MyLordBebo) July 17, 2023
A Ukrainian security official has claimed Kyiv’s responsibility for an attack on the bridge linking the annexed Crimean peninsula to the Russian mainland – a vital supply line for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine and a personal project for President Vladimir Putin.
The nearly 12-mile crossing, also known as the Kerch Bridge, is the longest in Europe and holds huge strategic and symbolic importance for Moscow. Monday’s attack on the bridge was the second since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, after a fuel tanker exploded while crossing it in October.