- The 17-second video shows the moment drones hit two Russian Raptor fast-attack craft.
- The Russian patrol boats were destroyed in the Black Sea near Snake Island, a strategic and symbolic location for Ukraine.
- The drone used to sink the Russian ships is known as Bayraktar TB2, built by Turkey.
Ukraine said on Monday its drones sank two Russian ships in the Black Sea near Snake Island, which the Russians had captured the day the war broke out on February 24.
“Two Russian Raptor boats were destroyed at daybreak today near Snake Island,” Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi wrote on social media platforms.
“#bayraktar is doing its job,” he continued, referring to the Turkish unmanned combat aerial vehicle known as the Bayraktar TB2, which reportedly helped sink the two Russian Raptor fast-attack craft. Along with the message, Zaluzhnyi posted a 17-second video that allegedly shows the moment the drones hit the Russian raptors at 4:51 am local time.
Russia made no comment on Ukraine’s claim, the Wall Street Journal reported, but said it destroyed three Bayraktar drones without providing any evidence.
Raptor-class boats are 55-foot-long vessels armed with machine guns that are used for patrol missions, with a crew of three and space to ferry up to 20 troops.
Although it is small – only 42 acres – Snake Island is strategically important because it sits at the edge of Ukraine’s territorial waters in the Black Sea. A report last year from non-partisan think tank the Atlantic Council called Snake Island the “key to Ukraine’s maritime territorial claims” in the Black Sea.
Snake Island has also become a legendary symbol of resistance for Ukraine, as military the island refused to surrender to Russian forces on February 4, radioing “Russian warship go screw yourself,” when the Russian flagship cruiser Moskva defended2.
The patrol boat losses add to the mounting toll for the Russian Navy. In April, the Moskva sank after being hit with at least one Neptune anti-sink missile, the Pentagon confirmed.