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Unverified Claims of Ukrainian Special Forces Boats Destruction Emerge from Russia

Published September 21, 2023
8 months ago

In the midst of growing tensions in the Black Sea, Russia's defence ministry has claimed the destruction of four Ukrainian special forces boats, potentially carrying up to 50 personnel, in an aircraft attack. The announcement was made via the Telegram messaging app at around midnight Moscow time on Wednesday.

Specific details regarding the exact location in the Black Sea where the alleged incident transpired have not been provided by the ministry. Russia also asserts that early on Wednesday, its defences successfully countered a drone attack near Sevastopol Bay in the Russian-claimed region of Crimea. However, the reports from Russia cannot be independently verified at this time.

Sevastopol houses Russia’s Black Sea fleet, a strategic hub in the region. The allegations have surfaced at a time of increasing military activities in the Black Sea by both Ukraine and Russia after last month's breakdown of a United Nations-brokered agreement that aimed to ensure safe navigation for grain ships.

Noteworthily, Ukraine has been on the offensive in recent weeks, reportedly attacking Russian vessels within its territorial waters and conducting raids on the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow controversially annexed in 2014. In what Ukraine labelled a 'special operation' on Independence Day last week, the national flag was apparently hoisted in Crimea.

These recent developments follow Russia claiming last week that one of their jets destroyed a Ukrainian reconnaissance boat near Russian gas production facilities in the Black Sea, and a US-made speedboat carrying Ukrainian soldiers east of Snake Island, without providing further specifics.

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