Russia claims to have destroyed three Ukrainian naval drones directed against the warship Ivan Khours, supporting its statements by the filmed destruction of a kamikaze device. Ukraine responded immediately with a video of another drone hitting its target.
The proof is in pictures. This May 25, Ukrainian intelligence released a video of its naval drone attack on the warship Ivan Khours. We see the tip of the device cross the sea until it ends up against the rear hull of the boat, the extract stopping at the moment of impact. This video contradicts Russian statements that no kamikaze drone hit the reconnaissance vessel in the Black Sea. However, we cannot determine the extent of the damage and even less confirm the Kremlin press release indicating that “all enemy boats were destroyed by regular arms fire”.
Offensives on several flanks
Russia had indeed published the video of a naval drone hit directly by fire from the defense systems. The attack took place around 5:30 a.m. local time, 140 kilometers (about 87 miles) northeast of the Bosphorus Strait, bordering Turkey. Three devices were reportedly sent against the “Ivan Khours”, a 100-meter-long reconnaissance boat, commissioned in 2018.
If Russia was able to effectively destroy one of these kamikaze machines, others generally arrive from several directions to multiply the panic effect and prevent all the drones from being destroyed on the same side by the same weapon. This tactic is part of the Ukrainian harassment of Russian ships in the Black Sea.
The approximate distance between the territory controlled by Ukraine and the place where the Ivan Khurs ship was allegedly attacked is more than 400 km. According to Ukrainian data, this model would have a range of 800 km and an explosive charge of 200 kg. The first unprecedented attack by these suicide drones surprised the Russians in Crimea on October 29. The Ukrainian army then launched several operations against the Russian ships moored in Sevastopol. The Kyiv government is seeking to collect more than a hundred of its devices, including through donations.