Russian warship EXPLODES as Ukraine sends 'Valentine’s gift for Putin'

Russian warship EXPLODES as Ukraine sends 'Valentine’s gift for Putin'

WATCH: Ukraine says it destroyed large Russian landing ship in Black Sea

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 14/02/2024

- 17:12

Updated: 14/02/2024

- 17:13

The 369ft Caesar Kunikov landing ship was reportedly sunk off the southern coast of Crimea

A force of Ukrainian special officers have blasted one of Vladimir Putin's prized warships, leaving all on board dead.

Ukrainian military officials claim to have sunk the 369ft Caesar Kunikov landing ship after hitting it with drones this morning off the southern coast of annexed Crimea.

Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence agency has released footage of the latest strike which was led by Group 13 special forces.

It is believed to be the 15th Russian warship to either be sunk or destroyed by Ukraine. Ukraine's military said it attacked the ship with naval drones called "Magura V5" - leaving it full of holes.

\u200bThe explosion took place overnight

The explosion took place overnight

Ukraine Ministry of Defence

A GUR Ukranian military intelligence source said the ship initially tilted on its side, and then sank. A GUR spokesperson said: "Apparently, no one escaped because the hole was big and everything happened very quickly.

"Magura has impoverished Caesar - the spies sank the great landing ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The 'Caesar Kunikov' bag lost critical holes on the port side and began to sink.

"It is symbolic that the Russian officer, after whom the ship was named, was killed exactly 81 years ago."

The ship is named after Soviet officer Caesar Kunikov, who died exactly 81 years ago - on 14 February 1943. Kunikov served as commanding officer of a landing party that recaptured the beachhead at Malaya Zemlya during World War II.

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin


Residents of Crimea said they heard an initial explosion at 11.03am local time on Tuesday. This was followed by subsequent explosions possibly as ammunition on board the ship exploded.

Russia attempted to stage a major sea rescue operation involving boats and a submarine. Two Russian Mi-8 helicopters were seen flying to and from the scene.

The Caesar Kunikov had suffered damage earlier in the war, and its then captain Alexander Chirva died from wounds in 2022.

Crimean Wind Telegram channel, a Ukrainian source, reported: "The Main Intelligence Directorate decided to congratulate the occupiers on Valentine's Day in their own way."

\u200bThe Caesar Kunikov, pictured in 2020

The Caesar Kunikov, pictured in 2020


Two weeks ago, Ukraine destroyed the £55 million Black Sea missile ship Ivanovets.

Multiple drones hit the 184ft warship off annexed Crimea.

The list of sunk ships includes the Moskva cruiser, Putin’s Black Sea Fleet flagship, which was struck by Neptune missiles in April 2022.

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