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Ukraine claims to have sunk Russian warship

March 24, 2022

Ukraine says it sunk a large Russian ship used for landing support. The attack took place in the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk.

Smoke rises after shelling near a seaport in Berdyansk, Ukraine
Ukraine says the attack destroyed the Orsk, a large fuel tank and ignited ammunition suppliesImage: AP Photo/picture alliance

Ukraine claimed on Thursday that it had sunk a large Russian landing support ship. 

It said it destroyed a ship named the Orsk in the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov.

Amateur video footage, filmed from Berdyansk, showed a large plume of smoke emanating from a fire on a large gray ship, as well as a large explosion.

As the ship burned, the footage showed two other vessels sailing out of the dock — one of them visibly damaged.

Russia did not confirm if it had lost the Orsk.

Ukrainian civilians under heavy fire

On Monday, Russia had announced that the Orsk was docked in that port, 70 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of the besieged city of Mariupol. Pro-Russian media had emphasized that port and ship's importance to Russian supply lines in the Black Sea.

Russian news agency TASS reported that the ship was capable of carrying up to 1,500 tons of cargo.

Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said the ship was destroyed. She said it could carry 45 armored personnel carriers and 400 people.

Ukraine said a 3,000-ton fuel tank was also destroyed in the attack, with fire spreading to nearby ammunition depots.

Russia has struggled to maintain steady supply lines during its invasion of Ukraine, with Ukrainian forces deliberately targeting its logistics capabilities.

Moscow has captured most of the Ukrainian coastline on the Sea of Azov, but nearby Mariupol has refused to surrender. Russia has been heavily bombarding the city, repeatedly hitting civilian targets.

aw/rt (AFP, Reuters, AP)