Ukrainian Drone Boats Target Russian Navy Ship in Black Sea

Footage posted by Ukrainian officials on Thursday, May 25, appears to show an unmanned speedboat crashing into the Russian “Ivan Khurs” reconnaissance ship, countering Moscow’s claims that three drone boats were destroyed before reaching the ship.

On Wednesday, the Russian Ministry of Defense said Ukraine’s armed forces had launched an “unsuccessful” attack on the Ivan Khurs ship – part of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea – using three unmanned speedboats at 5:30 am that morning. The ministry said all three boats were fired upon and destroyed, and said the Ivan Khurs was continuing to operate. A short video released by the Russian defense ministry showed one small boat taking heavy fire and appearing to explode as it approached a ship at speed. No footage was released of the other two drone boats that were reported by the defense ministry, and Storyful could not verify if the footage was captured from the Ivan Khurs ship.

On Thursday, another video was circulated by pro-Ukrainian Telegram channels and later posted by Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs and prominent media figure, depicting a small boat approaching and colliding with a vessel that Gerashchenko said was the Ivan Khurs. Various features of the ship tally with those seen in file photos of the Ivan Khurs on Russian websites. The video ends as the boat crashes into the hull of the Russian ship.

According to Ukrainian Pravda, a military source said the Ivan Khurs was damaged but did not sink. Storyful could not independently confirm damage to the Russian vessel. Credit: Ukrainian Armed Forces via Storyful

Video transcript