NewsUkrainian Navy strikes Russian-held amphibious vessel with Neptune missile

Ukrainian Navy strikes Russian-held amphibious vessel with Neptune missile

Ukrainians hit a ship stolen by the Russians.
Ukrainians hit a ship stolen by the Russians.
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11:55 AM EDT, March 26, 2024

The Ukrainian Navy has reported a significant strike on the large amphibious vessel Kostiantyn Olszański, which was unlawfully taken over by the Russian Black Sea Fleet in 2014. The ship was hit by a Neptune missile, causing substantial damage, according to Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian navy.

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“A decision was made to target the vessel using our Neptune missile system. We are currently assessing the extent of the damage. What's clear is that the missile hit its mark, rendering the vessel incapable of further combat, regardless of the specifics,“ Pletenchuk shared during a television interview on Tuesday.

The Kostiantyn Olszański was constructed at the Northern Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland, during the era of the Polish People's Republic and fell into Russian hands in March 2014, marking the start of Crimea's occupation. At that time, the vessel was moored in Lake Donuzlav on the Crimean Peninsula's western side, trapped within its waters as the Russians had blocked the narrow strait leading to the Black Sea by intentionally sinking two old ships in it.

The nature of the Russian assault

During the seizure, Russian soldiers attacked the Ukrainian vessel from boats, resorting to grenade throwing and gunfire. Approximately 20 sailors, along with their captain, were on board the Olszański at the time and sought refuge within the ship from the assailants, who numbered around 200.

According to Pletenchuk, for the past nine years, the Olszański has been docked in Sevastopol Bay, where it slowly underwent dismantlement for spare parts. “In the tenth year of conflict, the Russians noticed a dwindling supply of large amphibious vessels, which led to the decision to refit the Olszański for use against Ukrainian forces. This development prompted our decision to strike it with the Neptune missile,” the navy spokesperson explained.

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