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Ukraine says it hit Russian naval tugboat with missiles

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Ukrainian missiles hit a Russian naval tugboat transporting soldiers, weapons, and ammunition to the Russian-occupied Zmiinyi (Snake) Island south of the Odesa region on Friday, the regional governor said.

Odesa governor Maksym Marchenko identified the vessel as the Vasiliy Bekh.

Ukraine’s Naval Command said the tugboat had a TOR anti-air missile system on board but this had failed to stop the strike.

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The Naval Command said in a post on Facebook the Vasiliy Bekh had served in the Russian Black Sea Fleet since 2017.

Ukraine’s armed forces said they struck the tugboat with two Harpoon missiles, the first time Ukraine has said it hit a Russian vessel with the Western-supplied anti-ship rockets.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces Strategic Communications Directorate published the information on the Telegram app, alongside a video purporting to show the strike from the air.

Reuters could not independently verify the footage.

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