Russian patrol vessel Sergey Kotov damaged in Ukrainian naval drone strike

A representative of the Ukrainian Navy, Dmytro Pletenchuk, has reported that a search and rescue operation was conducted by the Russians following the strike on their patrol vessel Sergey Kotov on the night of March 5th. Speaking on the channel "We – Ukraine," Pletenchuk said, "Some crew members were certainly evacuated. However, considering that the incident occurred in the dark, the cold water temperature, and the damage sustained by the ship, I cannot say that the majority of the crew survived."

He added that the vessel was supposed to carry a Russian Ka-29 helicopter and mentioned that the information on losses is still being verified.

"Our enemy is concealing these losses, yet the information is being verified," said the Navy representative.

Pletenchuk described the Sergey Kotov as a patrol ship tasked with guarding the Kerch Strait and executing anti-air duties. "This specific ship was guarding our Kerch Strait, in our territorial waters. The area has been officially closed to shipping by Ukraine, which has the authority to issue warnings about it. In fact, we warned last year that ships should not pass through this area," emphasized the Navy official.

The "Sergey Kotov" is a modular patrol ship of the 22160 project, one of the newest vessels in the Russian naval fleet, launched in 2021. The fourth ship in this series, it features powerful radar systems and anti-aircraft missile complexes, making it suitable for use as a mobile air defense or radar platform. Its role is to defend outlying important vessels and installations, including the Crimean Bridge. The ship displaces 1,800 tons, carries a crew of 28, and can sustain up to 60 days at sea. Its cost is approximately 65 million dollars.

In July and August 2023, the Russians reported that Ukraine attempted to attack the patrol ships "Sergey Kotov" and "Vasily Bykov," claiming that the attacks were repelled.

In September, the Sergey Kotov was attacked again. According to Ukraine's Armed Forces Stratcom, on the morning of September 14, Ukrainian Forces successfully attacked two Black Sea Fleet patrol ships of project 22160 in the northwestern Black Sea, and both vessels were recorded as damaged. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that on September 18, an attempt by five naval drones to attack the ship in the Black Sea was repelled.

The Ukrainian Navy representative also mentioned there are four vessels of this project in the Black Sea Fleet, two of which have been disabled. "One of them, 'Pavel Derzhavin,' recently sustained two damages from the Ukrainian Navy. You may recall, it encountered two mines near Crimea. Its exact condition remains unclear, but it's certainly not battle-ready. That means two of the four project ships are effectively out of commission," he added.

In a covert operation on the night of March 4-5, Ukrainian military intelligence in collaboration with the Ukrainian Navy struck the Russian Black Sea Fleet patrol ship Sergey Kotov with Magura V5 naval drones. This occurred near the Kerch Strait, in Ukrainian territorial waters. Ukrainian military intelligence reported the ship suffered stern, starboard, and portside damage. Intelligence representative Andriy Yusov added that the vessel was destroyed, with casualties and injured crew members, while part of the crew was evacuated, hence the precise information is being clarified. At least ten ambulances were called to the mainland, adds military intelligence.

As of March 5, 2024, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff reports that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian forces have destroyed 26 boats and ships, including the Rostov-on-Don submarine. The most notable destroyed target remains the missile cruiser Moskva, which served as the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

On March 5th, reports emerged online of Ukrainian naval drones attacking the Crimean Bridge and a Russian corvette.

Additionally, the Gvardeyskoe airbase in Crimea was subject to a missile attack.

  War in Ukraine, Sergey Kotov, Black Sea, Kerch Strait