On the night of August 4, maritime drones attacked facilities in Novorossiysk, a city hosting one of Russia’s main naval bases on the Black Sea. According to pro-Russian Telegram channels, the large landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak suffered significant damage in the attack.
Ukrainian Telegram channels reported a successful special operation carried out by the country’s Security Service (SBU) in the bay of Novorossiysk.
Here’s how the Russian Defense Ministry commented on the incident:
“Last night, two unmanned marine vessels from the Armed Forces of Ukraine attempted an attack on the Novorossiysk naval base. The attack was thwarted as Russian ships guarding the naval base detected and destroyed the unmanned boats using regular onboard weaponry.”
Novorossiysk Mayor Andrei Kravchenko claimed that the attack was repelled by the crews of the Olenegorsky Gornyak and Suvorovets ships.
The Olenegorsky Gornyak was involved in assisting the ferry crossing to Crimea and delivering civilian cargo to the peninsula following the second strike on the Crimean bridge.
“The large landing ships Kaliningrad and Olenegorsky Gornyak of the Russian Navy began transportation of vehicles through the Kerch Strait. Today the crew of the BDK Olenegorsky Gornyak made the first voyage from the ‘Kavkaz’ port to the ‘Crimea’ port,” reported state-run news outlet RIA Novosti in July this year.
The Olenegorsky Gornyak is a Ropucha-class project 775 large landing ship, originally constructed by the Soviet Union during the 1970s. It has a significant carrying capacity of 450 tons and can accommodate up to 25 armored personnel carriers.
With a crew of approximately 100 people, the vessel is one of three landing ships permanently stationed in the Black Sea since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.
The August 4 incident is not the first such incident in Novorossiysk — in November last year, a different type of marine drones attacked the Sheskharis oil and gas harbor in the city’s port. Transneft, the company responsible for the facility, denied the reports of the drone attack, stating that any damage sustained was minor and did not disrupt the facility’s operations.