Ukraine sinks more Russian boats with Turkish-made Bayraktar drones
“Two Russian Raptor boats were destroyed at daybreak near Snake island,” General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, posted on Facebook. “Bayraktar is working.”
An infrared video, purportedly from a Bayraktar TB2, shows a Raptor-class craft moving backwards as it is blown apart. The other vessel tries to flee before it explodes.
Raptors can travel up to 48 knots, making them some of the fastest boats in the Russian navy. They can carry up to 20 personnel, usually marines, and may have been reinforcing Russia’s grip on Snake island, which has been under heavy Ukrainian bombardment.
The Russian Black Sea fleet is believed to have no more than seven Raptors, although in January four more were reportedly moved by road from the Baltic Sea. Video showed another Raptor being sunk by a Ukrainian anti-tank missile in March.
“The traditional parade of the Russian Black Sea fleet on May 9 this year will be held near Snake island, at the bottom of the sea,” tweeted the Ukrainian defence ministry, in reference to the parade marking the defeat of Nazi Germany.
The small island around 35km from the coast gained notoriety when its garrison of Ukrainian border guards defied Russian demands to surrender, using unambiguous language.
The island’s defenders were released in March by the Russian military as part of a prisoner exchange.
Ukraine’s Operational Command South says its Bayraktar drones destroyed the Russian Serna-class landing craft and two Raptor-class assault boats near the island, killing an estimated 46 crew and marines.
The Ukrainian military also shared video of other drone strikes.
The Ukrainian military has touted numerous apparent Bayraktar drone strikes on Russian forces, despite Russian claims the drones were destroyed early in the war.
In March, Ukraine shared a video of the Russian amphibious Orsk vessel burning at the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk.
The Slava-class guided-missile cruiser Moskva (meaning Moscow), which was the flagship missile cruiser for Russia’s Black Sea fleet, was sunk. The Ukrainian armed forces said it struck the Moskva with two domestically produced R-360 Neptune anti-ship missiles.
Picture credit: YouTube