Espreso. Global

Ukrainian forces destroy Russian landing ship Novocherkassk in Crimea

26 December, 2023 Tuesday

Residents of Feodosia in Russian-occupied Crimea reported loud explosions over the city at night. The Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed the hit on the large landing ship Novocherkassk

This was reported by Russian Telegram channels.

According to eyewitnesses, they heard several explosions in the port area, after which traces of smoke appeared in the sky. Earlier, traffic on the Crimean bridge was temporarily suspended.

The information was confirmed by the head of the Ukrainian Air Force Mykola Oleshchuk.

"Russia's fleet is getting smaller and smaller! This time, a large landing ship Novocherkassk is heading after the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser Moskva.

Later, the Ukrainian Air Force reported that the Novocherkassk landing ship was attacked by cruise missiles from tactical aircraft around 02:30. The Air Force reported it as destroyed.

Natalia Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for the Southern Defense Forces of Ukraine, said in a telethon that the large detonation was caused not just by fuel or ammunition on the ship itself, but probably by the cargo on board.

"The specificity of large landing ships is that they are now used by the enemy almost constantly as logistics facilities for the transportation of important cargo. This is something they cannot afford in any other way. Remember that they have difficulties using the famous Kerch Bridge and other transport and logistics routes. So, it is likely that this was a kind of "Christmas present". Fully wrapped," said Humeniuk.

Russian authorities react to warship being struck 

The head of the occupation administration of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, confirmed the attack on the port of Feodosia. He also reported a detonation and fire.

As the Russian Defense Ministry clarified, the attack on the ship was carried out by Ukrainian aviation, using airborne guided missiles. The Russian military added that the air defense system shot down two Ukrainian Su-24s that launched missiles at Feodosia, near the village of Oktyabr (125 km northeast of Mykolaiv).

The invaders reported that the explosion killed one person and injured four others.

The large landing ship Novocherkassk was damaged.

The building of the railway station and six other buildings were also damaged, with mostly broken windows. The occupiers plan to resettle residents of several houses near the scene. Suburban trains have temporarily stopped arriving at the Feodosia station.

In Feodosia, traffic was blocked on Desantnikov and Krasnoarmeyskaya streets adjacent to the coastal line. Bus schedules were changed.

Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had reported to the Russian president about the Ukrainian army's strike on Feodosia.

Novocherkassk’s parameters and similar losses of the Russian Black Sea Fleet

According to the Russian media, the Novocherkassk ship can carry 10 medium tanks and 340 personnel, or up to 480 tons of cargo. The ship's regular crew is 87 people.

The ship may have been used for transporting weapons and ammunition to Crimea, potentially to avoid jeopardizing the Crimean bridge. Consequently, the ability to supply the peninsula is now expected to be diminished.

The Black Sea Fleet currently possesses a total of six large amphibious assault ships (LAS). Following the Ukrainian missile attack on the port of Berdyansk in March 2022, the Saratov ship was sunk. Simultaneously, two more LASs, Novocherkassk and Caesar Kunikov, sustained damage. In August 2023, naval drones targeted the Olenogorsky Gornyak (assigned to the Northern Fleet) in Novorossiysk, resulting in its docking for repairs.

The aftermath of the missile strike on the large landing ship Novocherkassk was shared online through a photo. The image reveals that the entire front half of the ship is now either submerged or extensively destroyed.

In total, according to Oryx, the Ukrainian Armed Forces were able to successfully attack 16 Russian warships. 11 of them were destroyed, including the Moskva missile cruiser.

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