Russian navy hit by setback as ‘mystery explosion destroys warship near Crimea’

A Russian warship was hit with a mysterious explosion in the Crimean port of Sevastopol Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

The Pavel Derzhavin is the Russian navy’s newest Type 22160 corvette equipped with Kalibr anti-ship missiles which have been used to attack Ukraine.

Russian social media accounts reported an explosion in the area around midnight Wednesday near the entrance of Sevastopol harbour, the home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

In addition, Russian officials in the occupied area announced local ferries in Sevastopol would be temporarily shut down without saying why.

Ukrainian Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk said on Telegram that officials in Kyiv were aware the Pavel Derzhavin had been hit but that the extent of the damage is unclear.

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Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian government adviser, confirmed the explosion Wednesday afternoon but said they could not establish what had caused it. He said a Ukrainian missile or long-range drone might have struck the ship.

Other reports suggested that the ship struck one of Russia’s own undersea mines placed around the mouth of Sevastopol harbour.

Russia language Wikipedia had written the ship off as a total loss, however the entry has since been deleted.

The Pavel Derzhavin was built in the Kerch shipyard in the occupied Crimean Peninsula and joined Russia’s Black Sea fleet in June 2022.

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Crimea: Explosion at the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters

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The ship carries Kalibr long-range cruise missiles and Tor anti-aircraft radar and is capable of anti-submarine warfare.

If Ukraine did strike the Russian corvette, it would be the latest attack devastating attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Last month, Kyiv used Storm Shadow missiles to strike the headquarters of the Black Sea fleet completely destroying the building.

Ukraine claimed to have killed dozens of Russian naval officers in that strike. An earlier strike gravely wounded a Russian Kilo-class submarine.

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