KEY POINTS

  • Defense analysts said the incident happened on June 3
  • Some of the artillery falls close to the landing craft 
  • Naval News confirmed that the vessel is still operational 

A stunning drone video has emerged showing a Ukrainian warship narrowly escaping a massive Russian artillery fire, some of which lands as close as 200 feet.

The footage, allegedly captured by a shooting spotter drone, shows the Ukrainian vessel Yuri Olefirenko, a Polnochny-class landing ship, coming under Russian attack as it sails along the Bugsko-Dneprovsko-Limansky Canal near the port of Ochakov in Mykolaiv region.

According to defense analysts, the incident happened on June 3. The warship appears to be heading to Odessa when invaders rain down missiles on it. The artillery attack covers almost the entire area around the ship, some weapons falling dangerously close to the vessel.

Though it is unclear from which direction the strikes came, the landing craft continues to move forward. The video does not show the vessel taking any direct hit or suffering serious damage.

A report by Naval News later confirmed, through multiple sources, that Yuri Olefirenko is still operational. It also confirmed that the ship was indeed present in the said location a few hours before the attack began. However, there are also no official statements in this regard, including from the command of the Ukrainian Navy or the Russian side.

Yuri Olefirenko was built in Poland in 1970 before it served with the Soviet Navy during the Cold War. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the vessel was transferred to the Ukrainian Navy in 1994. Though Yuri Olefirenko was taken over by the Russian Navy when they annexed Crimea in 2014, it was later returned to Ukrainian Navy. Since then, it has been one of its few large ships and the only landing craft.

Though there were reports that Russian forces recaptured the landing craft during the invasion, that seems to be unfounded as evident from the video.

Recently, Ukraine had alleged that the Russian military in Berdyansk was using captured Ukrainian vessels. An image doing rounds on social media recently showed a Ukrainian Gyurza-class gunboat flying the Russian naval ensign in Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea. The gunboat was one of several of the Gyurzas captured by the Russian forces.

According to local Ukrainian reports, Russian occupiers were also making attempts to use the Gurza-M radio equipment to spread fake messages on the frequencies intended for navigation safety.

Air strikes rocked Ukraine's strategic Black Sea port Odessa, but the army said there were no casualties
Air strikes rocked Ukraine's strategic Black Sea port Odessa, but the army said there were no casualties AFP / BULENT KILIC
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