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Russia Says Thwarted Naval Drone Attack Against Black Sea Patrol Boat

Russian patrol ship. Russian Defense Ministry

Russia said Tuesday that one of its military patrol boats had repelled an attack overnight in the Black Sea, where tensions have been building after Moscow backed out of a deal protecting Ukrainian grain shipments. 

"Ukraine's armed forces carried out an unsuccessful attack with two naval drones against the Sergei Kotov patrol ship overnight," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The patrol boat targeted in the attack destroyed the approaching drones at a distance of about one kilometer, the ministry added. 

No injuries were reported.

Russian military officials said the patrol boat was deployed around 370 kilometers southwest of Sevastopol, a key port in the annexed Crimean peninsula.  

After backing out of the Black Sea grain deal earlier this month, Moscow warned that it could target ships approaching Ukrainian ports. Kyiv responded with a similar warning.

Crimea and Russia's Black Sea Fleet have been repeatedly targeted since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, but attacks have increased in recent weeks amid Kyiv’s ongoing counteroffensive. 

Last week, seaborne drones damaged the Crimea bridge, a key military supply artery between the annexed peninsula and mainland Russia.

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