A Russian cruiser was substantially damaged in an overnight Ukrainian naval drone strike on Russia’s Black Sea navy station in Novorossiysk, according to source.
Russia had earlier claimed that it had successfully repelled the attack.
The civilian port, which oversees 2% of the world’s oil supply and also exports grain, reportedly temporarily halted all ship movement before resuming normal business, according to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which operates an oil terminal there.
Two Ukrainian maritime drone attacks on the site were repelled and destroyed, according to a terse statement from the Russian Defense Ministry. No mention of injury was made.
A Ukrainian intelligence source said the Olenegorsky Gornyak, a Russian Navy landing ship, had suffered a serious breach and could not conduct combat missions following a joint operation by the Ukrainian Navy and SBU intelligence service.
Andrei Kravchenko, a Novorossiysk city official, said on the Telegram app that the Olenegorsky Gornyak was one of two ships that had “instantly reacted” to fend off the Ukrainian attack.
The Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which loads oil onto tankers in Novorossiysk, stated that its facilities were unharmed and that oil loadings resumed aboard tankers that were already anchored.
The port is one of the largest in the Black Sea and a key export facility for oil and oil products. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium is Kazakhstan’s primary crude oil exporter.
Novorossiysk exports of Russian and Kazakh oil average roughly 1.8 million barrels per day, or nearly 2% of global oil supply.
Last September, the British military intelligence service reported that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet had transferred some submarines from the Crimean port of Sevastopol to Novorossiysk, most likely due to the increased threat of Ukrainian long-range strikes.
Tensions in and around the Black Sea have risen since Russia withdrew from a deal allowing the safe transport of grain from Ukrainian ports last month. Since then, Russian drones and missiles have frequently attacked Ukrainian port facilities and grain silos near or on the Black Sea.
Russia has also reported an increase in attempted Ukrainian naval drone strikes on its own Black Sea warships.
The Russian Defence Ministry said on Friday that its forces had also repelled an attempted Ukrainian attack on Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014, using at least 13 Aeroplane-like drones. It said there were no casualties or damage.