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12:28 a.m. ET, May 26, 2023

Russian scout ship apparently hit by unmanned surface craft, video shows

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Yulia Kesaieva in Kiev, and Sharon Braithwaite and Gianluca Mezzofiore in London

Images shared by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Thursday appeared to show the moments just before the unmanned vessel collided with the Russian reconnaissance vessel Ivan Khurs.

Ukrainian Ministry of Defense

The Russian reconnaissance ship Ivan Khurs was apparently hit by an unmanned surface vessel in the Black Sea, new videos show, disputing a claim by Moscow, which said on Wednesday it could have thwarted a Ukrainian attack on the craft.

Images shared on social media by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Thursday and analyzed by CNN appeared to show the moments just before the impact.

The video was filmed with a camera mounted on the surface craft. It shows the ship as it approaches a larger ship at high speed.

CNN analysis indicated that the ship is likely the Ivan Khurs. It also shows the tip of the unmanned surface craft, similar to the unmanned surface craft seen in a video posted by Russia’s Defense Ministry on Thursday.

The feed is interrupted when the ship comes within a few meters of the ship.

“When the Russian reconnaissance ship ‘Ivan Khurs’ encountered a Ukrainian drone,” the Ukrainian defense ministry said in a tweet. “Indeed, a perfect match!”

More background: On Wednesday, Russia’s defense ministry acknowledged the attack on the Ivan Khurs, but said no surface craft had hit the ship.

“At 05:30 today, the armed forces of Ukraine made an unsuccessful attempt to attack the Black Sea Fleet ship Ivan Khurs with three unmanned speedboats,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov. . “All enemy boats were destroyed by fire from the standard armament of a Russian ship 140 kilometers northeast of the Bosphorus.”

The Russian Defense Ministry also shared footage showing one of the surface craft exploding while being hit by gunfire.

“The ship ‘Ivan Khurs’ of the Black Sea Fleet continues to fulfill its duties,” Konashenkov added.

It is unclear what happened after the surface craft apparently hit the Ivan Khurs and how damaged the scout ship was in the attack.

CNN has reached out to Ukrainian sources for additional details, but has not yet heard back.

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