Russia Vows Retaliation After Ukraine's Drones Strike Russian Tanker In Second Sea Attack
In a tense escalation of maritime conflict, Russia vows retaliation after Ukraine's drones strike Russian tanker in second sea attack in the Black Sea near Crimea. The incident marks the second drone strike on a vessel in a single day, with the earlier attack targeting a major Russian port.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the incident as a Ukrainian "terrorist attack" on a civilian vessel in the Kerch Strait. She vehemently stated,
There can be no justification for such barbaric actions; they will not go unanswered, and their authors and perpetrators will inevitably be punished.- Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman
As Ukraine's naval capabilities grow, the Black Sea is becoming a crucial battleground in the ongoing war between the two nations. The recent escalation comes on the heels of Moscow's withdrawal from a key export agreement that allowed Ukraine to ship millions of tons of grain across the Black Sea for global trade. Subsequently, Russia launched repeated strikes on Ukrainian ports, including Odesa.
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The Ukrainian Security Service confirmed their involvement in the attack on the Russian tanker, which was transporting fuel for Russian forces. An anonymous official disclosed that a sea drone, laden with 450 kilograms (992 pounds) of TNT, was used for the assault, leaving the tanker with a hole in its engine room near the waterline on the starboard side. Fortunately, there were no casualties among the 11 crew members.
Ukraine strikes Russian tanker in latest Black Sea drone attack
Despite the drone strike briefly disrupting traffic on the Kerch Bridge and ferry transport, the situation highlights the increasing complexity and volatility of the conflict in the Black Sea. The attacked tanker was already under United States sanctions for its role in supplying jet fuel to Russian forces engaged in the Syrian conflict.
Furthermore, the Ukrainian strike on Novorossiysk marked the first time a commercial Russian port had been targeted in the nearly 18-month-long conflict. This major port, located about 110 kilometers (approximately 60 miles) east of Crimea, plays a crucial role in naval operations, shipbuilding, and oil exports.
Shipping expert Jayendu Krishna expressed his observations on the impact of such attacks on Russian shipping activity. According to Krishna, the attacks appear to leave Russian shipping operations largely unaffected.
He believes that these actions may potentially heighten the risk of further Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports, rather than serving as leverage to pressure Russia into reconsidering its actions and reinstating the grain agreement.
With tensions escalating, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chair of Russia's Security Council, implied that Russia would retaliate with increased attacks on Ukrainian ports. In response to Kyiv's actions in the Black Sea, Medvedev's post on Telegram indicated that previous attacks on Odesa and Izmail were insufficient.
In the backdrop of these maritime hostilities, Russia's Defense Ministry announced the capture of the settlement of Novoselivske in Ukraine's easternmost Luhansk region, which remains largely occupied by Russian forces.
Amidst the escalating conflict, a two-day summit aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to the war commenced in Saudi Arabia. Senior officials from around 40 countries, excluding Russia, convened to agree on key principles for ending the conflict.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed the importance of the summit in terms of food security and the well-being of millions of people in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world.
It is very important because in such matters as food security, the fate of millions of people in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world directly depends on how fast the world will be in implementing the Peace Formula. I am grateful to Saudi Arabia for this platform for negotiations.- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
While Moscow was not present at the summit, Andriy Yermak, chief Ukrainian presidential aide, remained optimistic about the negotiations.
I expect that the conversation will be difficult, but behind us is truth, behind us goodness.- Andriy Yermak, Chief Ukrainian Presidential Aide
On the other hand, Maria Zakharova of the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the idea of making decisions about the conflict without the participation of Moscow. Despite this, she acknowledged that delegates had "full scope for creativity" in discussing the matter.
As the situation unfolds, the world remains on edge, closely monitoring developments in the Black Sea region and the ongoing peace talks in Saudi Arabia. The international community hopes for a peaceful resolution that can bring an end to the protracted conflict and prevent further escalation.