close Ukraine destroys Russian warship Sergei Kotov on the Black Sea Video

Ukraine destroys Russian warship Sergei Kotov on the Black Sea

Video allegedly shows Ukrainian unmanned naval drones destroying the Sergei Kotov, one of over a dozen ships Kyiv has sunk since the summer of 2023 in a series of victories over Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. (Courtesy: East2West)

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Ukraine’s latest naval victory may prove its most critical as British intelligence determines the destruction of Russia’s Sergei Kotov ship will “limit” the Russian Black Sea Fleet. 

“This is the third Russian Black Sea Fleet vessel sunk in the past five weeks,” the British Ministry of Defense wrote in an update posted to social media platform X. “Likely because of Black Sea Fleet losses, on 15 February 2024, the Black Sea Fleet Commander, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, was dismissed.” 

“Ukraine continues to limit the freedom of maneuver of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea,” the ministry stressed. 

Kyiv claimed on Tuesday it had sunk the warship using high-tech sea drones, striking well behind the front line in what would be an impressive display of strength and capability from the Ukrainian forces. The attack reportedly killed seven crew members and injured six others, while Russian forces managed to rescue 52 others.


The British intelligence update confirms the destruction of the Sergei Kotov, which Moscow only commissioned into the fleet in July 2022. The warship had survived two other unmanned surface vessels (USV) and sustained only minor damage, swiftly returning to service on both occasions. 

Russian ship destroyed

The moment the Russian warship Sergei Kotov was “hit by a Ukrainian kamikaze sea drone.” (East2West)

Ukraine military intelligence (HUR) said its forces used the Magura V5 drone in all three attacks – including the one that finally sunk the warship. The Magura V5 unmanned vessels are designed and built in Ukraine and laden with explosives, according to The Associated Press. 

Black Sea Fleet damage

Ukrainian forces hit the Russian warship Sergei Kotov with unmanned naval vessels near Crimea. (East2West)

Two drones struck the ship, with the second strike causing a large blast. The crew of the Sergey Kotov had fired on the drones, trying to stop them before they struck, a private security firm said after claiming to analyze footage obtained from a crew member on a merchant vessel in the port of Feodosia, Crimea, where the attack occurred. 


Moscow claimed that it responded on Wednesday with a high-precision missile strike on a hangar in the industrial port area of Odesssa, where Ukraine developed some of its USVs, the Russian Ministry of Defense wrote on social media platform VK. 

“The goal of the strike has been achieved. The target is defeated,” the ministry wrote. 

Crimea Black Sea Fleet

The Sergei Kotov patrol ship has purportedly been attacked by Ukrainian naval kamikaze drones in Crimea.

The destruction of the Sergei Kotov continues Ukraine’s unexpected run of victories over the Black Sea Fleet, which started at a time when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared to start running short on evidence his forces could continue to register wins over Russian forces.

Ukraine had built up its forces for a much-touted counteroffensive in 2023, but Russia managed to pull together and dig in for a staunch defense that stymied any Ukrainian gains over the summer months. Officials expressed their frustrations with biting remarks whenever anyone questioned them about the lack of results from the push. 


“Criticizing the slow pace of (the) counteroffensive equals … spitting into the face of (the) Ukrainian soldier who sacrifices his life every day, moving forward and liberating one kilometer of Ukrainian soil after another,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba told reporters on Thursday.

“I would recommend all critics to shut up, come to Ukraine and try to liberate one square centimeter by themselves,” he said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Spain.

Sergei Kotov explosion

Footage captured by a merchant vessel in the port of Feodosia, Crimea, as the Sergei Kotov explodes. (East2West)

The success of the Ukrainian fleet started in September after Moscow, emboldened by their successes at frustrating the Ukrainian counteroffensive, refused to renew a United Nations-brokered deal to secure passage of grain through the Black Sea. Kyiv struck back, destroying over a dozen of Russia’s ships over the following months.


Russia eventually had to shift its naval forces away from the western part of the Black Sea in order to protect its assets as Russian President Vladimir Putin reorganized its command. 

Reuters contributed to this report. 

Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news. 

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