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Ukraine attacks Russia's naval Fleet, sinks third warship in Black Sea

Kyiv: In a setback for the Russian black sea naval fleet, Ukraine claimed that it sank another Russian warship in a sea drone attack off the coast of Crimea on Wednesday, CNN reported.
According to the report, Russia's landing ship Caesar Kunikov was attacked with 'MAGURA" V5 drones that punctured "critical holes" on its left side before sinking, the Ukrainian military intelligence agency.
"Ukraine has disabled a third of the Russian Black Sea Fleet during the large-scale invasion," the country's armed forces told CNN after Wednesday's attack.
That aligns with Ukrainian claims last week that they had disabled about 33 per cent of Russia's warships, amounting to 24 disabled ships and one submarine. The landing ship Caesar Kunikov would be the 25th disabled ship, according to Ukraine's count.
Wednesday's attack was conducted by the agency's "Group 13" special forces unit in cooperation with Ukraine's security and defence forces, the statement said.
Night-time footage provided by Ukraine showed a sea drone racing toward the Caesar Kunikov, before a huge plume of smoke rose from the vessel.
The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine said the ship had been moored for 10 days at a specialized berthing location where Russia could load it with weapons and military equipment. It also said the ship appeared to be loaded at the time of the attack, CNN reported.
CNN could not independently verify Ukraine's claims. The Kremlin declined to comment on the reported attack.
"This has to do with the course of the special military operation, so it is the prerogative of the Ministry of Defense. I suggest you refer to the statements of our military colleagues. I can't say anything about this," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a news briefing.
CNN reported that the attack is the latest in a series of Ukrainian strikes on Russia's navy, as it tries to land both strategic and symbolic blows against Russian forces that annexed Crimea in 2014.
As Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine nears its second anniversary, the frontlines have for months remained mostly static. But since last year Ukraine has pivoted to the Black Sea, saying its strikes on Crimea and Russian ships are intended to isolate the peninsula and make it more difficult for Russia to sustain its military operations on the Ukrainian mainland.
When asked about the incident in a Brussels press conference on Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said broadly that "the Ukrainians have been able to inflict heavy losses on the Russian Black Sea Fleet," and that this is a "great achievement, a great victory for Ukrainians."
The NATO chief also noted that the fact that Ukraine's armed forces have pushed away the Russian Black Sea fleet and opened a corridor has allowed them to export grain and other commodities to the world market, CNN reported.
"Few believe this was possible just a few months ago. But now actually, the export of grain from Ukraine takes place even without an agreement with Russia. So this shows the skills and the competence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces," Stoltenberg said, adding that NATO's support had been important.

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