- The Ivan Khurs reconnaissance ship was in international waters in the Black Sea
- Moscow declared it suffered several drone attacks but did not report casualties
- Shocking video footage shows moment one drone was destroyed in direct hit
By WILL STEWART and MIRIAM KUEPPER and REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 22:40 AEST, 24 May 2023 | UPDATED: 03:50 AEST, 25 May 2023
One of Vladimir Putin‘s most modern spy warships narrowly avoided being blown up by a trio of marine drones in the Black Sea, shocking new footage shows.
The intense clip, released by the Russian defence ministry on state television, showed how one high-speed unmanned boat came zipping across the water’s surface towards Moscow’s Ivan Khurs reconnaissance ship.
The spy vessel immediately launched into evasive manoeuvres and began firing at the oncoming drones.
Initial volleys from the Russian warship missed the drone – but just as the craft crested a wave it suffered a direct hit, immediately erupting into a massive fireball just metres from its target.
The Yury Ivanov-class Russian ship, launched in 2017, was in international waters in the Black Sea some 40 nautical miles north of the Bosphorus Strait at the time of the attack.
Russian sources said Ukraine’s armed forces were responsible for the attack after initial reports suggested the drones were instead launched from civilian ships.
Kyiv is yet to comment on the attack.
The attempt to strike the Ivan Khurs came as smoke was seen pouring from the giant £3billion Russian-controlled Crimean bridge, prompting suspicions it had also suffered an attack.
Dramatic moment ‘Ukrainian’ marine drone dodges gunfire
The Kerch bridge, which links the Crimean peninsula to the Russian region of Krasnodar, was reopened on Wednesday after being closed for several hours for ‘exercises’, an official from Crimea’s Russian-backed administration said.
‘The Crimean Bridge is closed due to an exercise being held in the area,’ said the Putin-appointed head of annexed Crimea Sergei Aksyonov.
‘Traffic will be restored in a few hours. I’m urging everyone to trust only trusted sources of information.’
It was not clear what was meant by exercises.
Video footage posted to Telegram showed white smoke billowing from the main central span of the bridge, and more smoke rising from one of the approaches to the crossing point.
In recent days Russia banned all trucks from the bridge, with Putin’s deputy premier citing ‘security concerns’ when announcing the decision.
On May 3, a drone strike triggered a huge explosion at an oil storage depot close to the bridge, prompting suspicions Ukrainian armed forces could attempt to conduct another strike.