Ground Report | New Delhi: Destroyed Russian Ship; A Russian ship full of ammunition reportedly explodes in Ukraine as Putin’s humiliated Navy is forced to withdraw. In one video, the tanker, named Orsk, is on fire as black smoke can be seen coming from the port in occupied Berdyansk.
“The Russian occupiers’ large landing ship Orsk was destroyed near the port of Berdyansk,” the Ukrainian Navy said in a Facebook post on Thursday, without providing further details.
Accompanying the post was a video purportedly showing the port on fire where a small explosion could be seen. It was unclear if there were any casualties. Russia did not immediately comment on the claim.
Local media reports indicated that a Russian ship had sunk and two others were on fire after an ammunition depot and a fuel depot were attacked. The Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform reported two powerful explosions at 6:40 a.m. local time on Thursday and said the explosions were heard throughout the city.
Russian troops captured the port on February 27 and the Orsk, classified as an alligator-class landing ship by NATO, had been docked there since Monday, the Russian armed forces media outlet Zvezda said earlier this week.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to change tactics and focus his firepower on the east of Ukraine, according to Western officials, abandoning plans to seize vase swathes of his neighbouring country.
- Defense intelligence chief Jim Hockenhull said Moscow was surprised by both the scale and ferocity of Ukrainian resistance, while Russian forces were “racked by problems of their own making.”
- Meanwhile, a Western official told reporters that Moscow was mobilizing some reserve forces to mitigate losses, but that they were likely to be poorly equipped and suffer from lower morale compared to the professional units sent to Ukraine for the first time.
- Moscow’s indiscriminate attacks have devastated several Ukrainian cities since it sent tens of thousands of troops to its eastern European neighbor, with civilian numbers rising and more than 10 million people fleeing their homes.
- NATO estimated on Wednesday that between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in four weeks of war in Ukraine, where fierce fighting by the country’s swift defenders has denied Moscow the lightning victory it sought.
- For comparison, Moscow lost around 15,000 soldiers in Afghanistan over 10 years.
- A senior NATO military official said the alliance’s estimate was based on information from Ukrainian officials, what Russia has published, intentionally or not, and intelligence gathered from open sources.
- The NATO official said an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded.
- Russia has released very little information about its casualties, saying on March 2 that almost 500 soldiers had been killed and nearly 1,600 wounded.