Ukraine: Russian Black Sea fleet minesweeper Kovrovets destroyed

The Ukrainian Armed Forces have targeted the Russian minesweeper Project 266M “Kovrovets,” according to a report from the Ukrainian General Staff. “This evening, the Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully destroyed the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Project 266-M minesweeper Kovrovets,” the statement indicated. 

Ukraine: Russian Black Sea fleet minesweeper Kovrovets destroyed
Photo by Sergey Malgavko

Details from the Ukrainian command remain scarce, and the Russian Ministry of Defense has yet to comment. Earlier, Russian military sources shared that Kyiv launched an attack on Crimea using ATACMS missiles, all of which were reportedly intercepted. 

The Project 266M “Aquamarine-M” minesweepers are designed to locate and neutralize sea mines and to escort other vessels through mined areas. “Kovrovets,” launched in 1974, follows in the footsteps of a similar minesweeper, Ivan Golubets, which suffered damage from a Ukrainian strike in Sevastopol Bay just last October.

Russia hit the plant producing the missiles that sunk cruiser Moscow
Photo credit: The Moscow Times

20 warships lost

Over the past two years of conflict, Russia has suffered significant naval losses, with more than 20 warships, including large amphibious assault ships, submarines, and the flagship cruiser Moskva, according to Oryx calculations based on open-source data. Before the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian fleet in the Black Sea comprised more than 70 vessels. 

Among the casualties are 5 out of the 7 large amphibious ships that were part of the fleet before the conflict began. These include the “Caesar Kunikov”, “Novocherkassk”, “Saratov”, “Olenegorskiy Gornyak”, and “Minsk”. In early March, special forces from Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate [GUR] of the Ministry of Defense reported the destruction of the Black Sea Fleet’s newest patrol ship, “Sergey Kotov”.

Watch the exactly Neptune missile shot that sank the Moskva ship
Video screenshot April, 13, 2023

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Either Neptune or S-300F missile sank the Russian cruiser Moscow
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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