Russia says thwarted Ukrainian naval drone attack on Black Sea patrol ship

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Russia said Tuesday it had repelled a drone attack overnight on a military patrol boat in the Black Sea where tensions have been building after Moscow exited a deal protecting Ukrainian grain exports.

“Ukraine’s armed forces carried out an unsuccessful attack overnight with two naval drones on the Sergei Kotov patrol ship,” the Russian defense ministry said.

It used conventional weapons onboard to destroy the approaching drones at a distance of about one kilometer (less than one mile), it said.

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It added that no one was injured and the vessel is continuing its mission.

The ship, it said, was deployed around 370 kilometers (230 miles) southwest of Sevastopol, a key Russian port on the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Russia warned this month after scrapping the grain export deal that it could target ships approaching Ukrainian ports. Kyiv responded with a similar warning.

Crimea and Russia’s Black Sea Fleet have been repeatedly targeted since the beginning of the offensive in Ukraine, but attacks have increased in recent weeks.

Drones last week damaged Russia’s Crimea bridge, a key military supply artery from mainland Russia to annexed Crimea.

Ukraine claimed the attack.

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