Russia accused of sinking own cruiser to block Ukrainian navy

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The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claims Russia has sunk one of its own vessels to block the Ukraine navy from sailing its ships from Donuzlav Lake.

“The Ukrainian military of the South Naval Base [was] observing the operation, and can confirm it,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement reported by the Maritime Executive.

Ukrainian authorities say they watched Russia’s military tow the Ochakov Kara-class cruiser to the navigating channel by the lake — where Ukraine ships are located — and fill it with water, the Maritime Executive reported.

“Some form of explosion followed,” the statement read. Shortly after, the ship reportedly collapsed in the water.

“Since the depth in this area [of water] is only 9 to 11 meters, it is possible to still view the upper part of the semi-submerged ship. Therefore, the [Ukrainian] ships cannot leave the Donuzlav Lake” and access the Black Sea, the statement said, the Maritime Executive reported.

The Russian cruiser hasn’t been operational for years, but has been stationed as part of the nation’s Black Sea Fleet since 2011, The Maritime Executive reported. The news outlet also said that other media reports have surfaced confirming that Russia’s navy did seem to purposely sink its Ochakov vessel at the mouth of the Donuzlav lake.

 

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