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Ukrainian forces destroyed the large Russian landing ship Caesar Kunikov

On February 14, 2024, the Defenсe Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence, in cooperation with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, eliminated the large landing ship Caesar Kunikov of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

The Russian landing ship Caesar Kunikov.
Photo: Reuters

Ukrainian forces attacked the enemy ship with Magura V5 naval drones near the shores of the temporarily occupied Crimea, not far from the city of Alupka. Caesar Kunikov received critical breaches on the port side and started to sink.

“The large landing ship Caesar Kunikov, project 775, is one of the newest Russian vessels. It could accommodate 87 crew members on board,” stated the Defenсe Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Ministry also emphasized that this military vessel was used by Russia before, particularly in its wars against Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine.

Dmytro Pletenchuk, Spokesman for the Naval Forces of Ukraine, confirmed that Caesar Kunikov had completely sunk. The eliminated enemy ship was one of three military vessels that illegally entered the Ukrainian port of Berdiansk in the Zaporizhzhia region at the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022. The other two Russian military ships, Saratov and Novocherkask, were targeted by Ukrainian forces earlier.

“Not every Caesar is fortunate enough to die twice, let alone in one day. It was precisely on February 14 that the serviceman after whom this ship was named died. It’s somewhat symbolic, of course, but no less symbolic is the fact that precisely this trio of large landing ships entered the port of Berdiansk at the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, and fate befell all three equally,” said Pletenchuk in a commentary to Suspilne media.

Overall, since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, approximately 33% of the combat ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet have been damaged or destroyed by Ukrainian forces, reported the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Among them are 24 naval vessels and one submarine.