Ukraine attacks Russian port of Novorossiysk
Drones strike Russian naval hub, but Russia downplays extent of damage
Russian officials said Ukraine struck Russia’s largest port of Novorossiysk, halting movement of ships temporarily
UKRAINIAN drones attacked Russia’s naval hub of Novorossiysk on Friday morning, temporarily halting movement of vessels.
Russian officials said they repelled the drone attacks and said there were no casualties or damage. Reports citing Ukrainian officials disputed this and the extent of damage was not immediately clear.
Videos posted online showed a sea drone approaching a Russian navy vessel. Unverified video posted by Russian military bloggers shows a warship listing heavily to port.
Reuters, citing a Ukrainian intelligence source, reported that Russian navy landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak suffered a serious breach.
Caspian Pipeline Consortium, a group that manages oil exports through the port of Novorossiysk, said the temporary movement ban for ships was lifted at 1039 hrs Moscow time and tankers berthed there continued to load.
Regional governor Veniamin Kondratiev said in a Telegram post the Russian military repelled an attack by two surface drones overnight and in the early morning of Friday.
Ukrainian attacks followed Russian attacks on Ukraine’s Danube ports, resulting in congestion near the Romanian port of Sulina. The ports have become a key grain export route since the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal last month.
According to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data there are more than 30 foreign-owned cargo carrying vessels presently alongside at the port of Novorossiysk.
They include the the 157,000 dwt suezmax tanker Zeus (IMO: 9886378) and the 115,000 dwt aframax tanker Delta Star (IMO: 9458016), which are owned by Greek shipowners Samos Steamship Company and Delta Tankers respectively.
There are also several panamax and handysize bulk carriers alongside which are mostly owned by Greece-based owners while five regional feeder containerships of up to 1,200 teu capacity, owned by Turkish interests, were discharging at the port at the time of the incident.