Russia says it has repelled a Ukrainian drone attack on a military patrol ship in the southwestern part of the Black Sea, in what comes after Russia’s withdrawal from a deal that had granted a safe passage for Ukraine grain export ships.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that last night two Ukrainian naval drones had attempted to target its patrol ship, the Sergey Kotov, but the attack was neutralized.
“The Ukrainian armed forces unsuccessfully tried to attack patrol ship ‘Sergey Kotov’ of the Russian Black Sea Fleet that is controlling ship traffic in the southwestern part of the Black Sea,” the statement read.
The ministry added neither the Russian vessel nor its crew were harmed, noting that the patrol ship continued its mission.
Tensions have escalated in the Black Sea over the past week after the expiration of the deal securing safe passage of Ukrainian grain shipments.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative is a UN-brokered agreement between Russia and Ukraine which was signed on July 22, 2022. It has allowed Ukraine to export grain and other agricultural products that had been blocked since Russia’s special military operation in mid-February 2022.
Moscow refused to extend the deal, arguing that parts of the agreement concerning Russia’s exports were not fulfilled. Russia said it will not extend the deal as long as obstacles to Russian food and fertilizer exports under the accord remain in place.
Russia launches new drone strikes on Ukraine
In another development on Tuesday, Ukrainian officials reported a new Russian drone operation in Kiev and parts of central and northern Ukraine.
Kiev regional governor Ruslan Kravchenko said there had been no reports of damage or casualties although falling debris set off a fire in a field.
Ukraine’s Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said air defenses had been engaged in three regions in the country’s north.
“About 10 drones were recorded, the information is being clarified,” he added, saying up to five were destroyed.
The drone strikes came one day after Russia warned of “tough retaliatory measures” against the backdrop of drone strikes on the capital Moscow and Crimea.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, with President Vladimir Putin saying the goals were “demilitarization and de-Nazification” of the East European country.
The US and European countries have been supplying weapons to Ukraine, fueling the flames of the war. Recently, Washington sent Kiev cluster munitions which are banned in more than 120 countries.