Ukraine says it hit one of Russia's oldest and proudest ships, continuing its rampage against the Black Sea Fleet


  • Ukraine says it hit another of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ships, setting it ablaze.

  • The Kommuna, Russia’s oldest serving ship, was struck in Crimea, a Ukrainian spokesperson said.

  • The 111-year-old Kommuna has historical value — but is also of practical use, one expert said.

Ukraine says it has struck another of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ships — this time, its oldest active-duty naval vessel.

Ukrainian navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk told Ukrainska Pravda that the ship was set ablaze at the port city of Sevastopol, in Russia-occupied Crimea, in an attack on Sunday.

“The type of damage caused to the ship is being established, but early reports indicate that the ship is not fit to perform missions,” Pletenchuk told the paper. Business Insider has not independently verified the claim.

He didn’t clarify the nature of the claimed attack, but prominent Crimea-based Telegram accounts reported an explosion and the deployment of firefighters toward the port early Sunday local time.

Mikhail Razvozhaev, the Russian-appointed governor of Crimea, wrote on Telegram that Russia’s military had repelled an anti-ship missile, whose falling fragments had caused a small fire that was quickly put out.

(It is not unusual for Ukrainian officials to say an attack succeeded and for Russian ones to say that it failed.)

Unverified video circulating on social media showed smoke rising from a port.

“Another bad day for the Russian Black Sea Fleet,” wrote the Defense of Ukraine X account after the attack, posting a 2008 stock image of the Kommuna with crosshairs superimposed.

If confirmed, the claimed strike on the storied ship continues a pattern of Ukrainian success in the Black Sea.

Losing a beloved ship would be a blow to morale in Russia soon after the US finally approved $61 billion in military aid — which President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said gives the country a chance at breaking the land war’s deadlock.

First launched in 1913, the Kommuna is woven into Russia’s naval history, having served in multiple 20th-century conflicts, according to KHCF, a Russian site devoted to following the Black Sea Fleet.

Open-source naval expert HI Sutton, remarking on its antique status, said the Kommuna “gets a degree of sympathy because she is an ancient and beautiful ship.” But, he said, “objectively she is a legitimate target and provides Russian navy with valuable capabilities.

“She often participates in submarine trials and can conduct seabed warfare,” he added.

According to Sutton, the Kommuna was in 2022 deployed to the sinking of the Moskva flagship — Ukraine’s most striking victory against the Black Sea Fleet.

Much of the fleet relocated to the port of Novorossiysk last fall after Ukraine pounded the port of Sevastopol. At the end of March — after Ukraine claimed attacks on two large landing ships — the UK’s Minister of Defence Grant Shapps said the fleet had been rendered “functionally inactive.”

The Russian Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider





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