Over the pier and shoreline in the Ukrainian coastal city of Feodosia on the Crimean Peninsula, a tremendous fireball lit up the sky at dawn on Tuesday (local time).
According to commander Mykola Oleshchuk of the Ukrainian Air Force, an attack by his troops damaged the Ropucha class landing ship Novocherkassk.
Russian forces have used high-explosive cargo in their almost two-year all-out conflict with Ukraine in a variety of ways, and this ship and/or pier was vulnerable. In the days leading up to Russia’s invasion, these ships accomplished a lot, including transporting goods, providing ferry services, and engaging in worldwide operations.
The Ropucha fleet has taken a beating throughout the war, with many ships severely destroyed by Ukrainian artillery fire. Knowing that the Novocherkassk was loaded with ammunition and equipment would have made it an ideal target for Ukrainian troops. Rather than using their intended purpose, the Ukrainian Air Force’s Su-24 Fencers have been converted into launch platforms for storm shadow and SCALP-EG cruise missiles.
This attack would have been similar to the ones that targeted a Kilo-class submarine and another Ropucha-class ship in drydock in Sevastopol, as well as the one that destroyed a modern Russian missile corvette not long ago near Kerch.
Recent news sources claim that the Russian Ministry of Defense has verified that the landing ship Novocherkassk was attacked with an air-launched cruise missile from Ukraine, causing possible total destruction, but at the least significant damage. The Russian Ministry of Defense has not yet issued an official statement on the assessment, which is par for the course in situations like this. Scattered pieces of the landing ship washed ashore near the Novocherkassk after its explosive explosion in Feodosia. Russia has officially acknowledged that the vessel was ‘damaged,’ emphasizing that air-launched cruise missiles attacked it.
There was no word about the extent of the damage.