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Ukraine Says Destroyed Russian Patrol Ship in Annexed Crimea

The Russian patrol ship Sergei Kotov. Sergei Malgavko / TASS

Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence claimed Tuesday that it destroyed a Russian patrol ship off the coast of annexed Crimea.

The GUR said the Russian patrol ship Sergei Kotov “underwent damage to the stern, starboard and port sides” when it was attacked by seaborne drones overnight near the Kerch Strait.  

"As for the crew, the details are being clarified. There are dead and wounded. But it is likely that some of the crew managed to evacuate," military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told journalists.

Earlier unconfirmed reports from anonymous channels on the messaging app Telegram said that nearby residents could hear explosions and gunfire just after midnight local time. 

A video published later by Ukraine's GUR on YouTube purports to show drone footage of the overnight attack.

The footage showed what appeared to be a seaborne drone approaching the side of a ship before a large explosion could be seen sending fire, smoke and debris into the sky.

Another video shared by pro-war Telegram channels purports to show the patrol ship Sergei Kotov under attack. The Moscow Times could not confirm the video's authenticity.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has not commented on Ukraine's claims or the video.

Kremlin-installed authorities in Crimea announced just hours before midnight on Monday that road traffic along the Crimean Bridge, which spans the Kerch Strait, had been “temporarily suspended” but did not explain the reason for the move. 

Traffic was later restored just before 7:00 am on Tuesday.

AFP contributed reporting.

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