Ukraine strikes brutal blow to Putins war plans as Russian warship destroyed

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Ukrainian forces have claimed another major victory in their bid to repel Russia’s invasion.

A Russian navy amphibious assault vessel – The Large Landing Ship Orsk 148 – has been pictured on fire and sinking off the Black Sea coast near the Berdyansk sea trading port.

It’s likely that the Orsk was carrying Russian reinforcements on their way to Mariupol, which is seen by both sides as an important strategic battleground for control of the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said earlier this week that conditions in Mariupol were grim. "For three weeks, 400,000 citizens have been surrounded, without food, water, light, air," he said.

He added that several small cities in Ukraine had been “wiped off the face of the Earth”.

Russia had announced on Monday that the Orsk was resupplying forces at Berdyansk – raising the prospect of a new and even more savage assault on Mariupol.

Video of the ship unloading armoured personnel carriers was broadcast by Zvezda, a television station run by Moscow’s defence ministry.

But a tweet from the Ukrainian navy showed an image of the vessel on fire and sinking and captioned it “Orcs are liquidated on 'Orsk' – karma”.

The announcement of the ship’s destruction was greeted with celebrations from Ukrainians online with social media users writing “Glory to the Heroes of Ukraine” and “Death to the invaders”.

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The Orsk was an “Alligator” class vessel with a crew of 55, capable of landing up to 425 troops and, 20 tanks or 40 smaller armoured vehicles.

It's not known how many would have been aboard the Orsk when it was destroyed.

Orsk was launched and commissioned as part of the Soviet Navy in 1968, serving a total of 11 campaigns in Indian and Atlantic oceans and the Mediterranean. It most recently saw action in 2018, carrying men and materiel to support Russian operations in Syria.

Orsk and its sister ship Saratov were last logged by NATO observers as being in active service with the 197th Brigade of Landing Ships in the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

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Meanwhile, in London, Russia’s defence attaché has been called in for an urgent meeting at the Ministry of Defence.

An MoD spokesman later said: “The second permanent undersecretary, Laurence Lee, protested in the strongest terms against the persistent and unjustified acts of violence being committed against innocent civilians by Russian forces, and reminded the defence attaché of Russia’s obligations under the Geneva Convention.

“Mr Lee emphasised that schools, theatres and hospitals are not legitimate military targets. He warned the UK will be collecting evidence of war crimes and repeated the UK’s demand for the Russian Federation to withdraw its forces immediately.”

  • Ukraine
  • Russia Ukraine war
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Military
  • Fire
  • London

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