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Konstantin Olshansky: History of Ukrainian ship stolen by Russia in Crimea in 2014

Konstantin Olshansky: History of Ukrainian ship stolen by Russia in Crimea in 2014 Photo: The Konstantin Olshansky was hit in Crimea on March 24 (
Author: Liliana Oleniak

On March 24, the Ukrainian Defense Forces hit the large amphibious assault ship Konstantin Olshansky with a Neptune missile. Russia stole this warship from Ukraine back in 2014 during the occupation of Crimea.

In the article below, RBC-Ukraine tells what is known about the Konstantin Olshansky warship.

Sources used: Ukrainian Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk, Krym.Realii, Militarnyi,, and other open-source data.

Konstantin Olshansky ship

The Konstantin Olshansky is a representative of Project 775, or Ropucha in NATO codification, and is a large amphibious assault ship. The large landing ship is a multi-deck, flat-bottomed ocean-going amphibious assault ship with a half-tank and a developed aft superstructure.

It is named after Konstantin Olshansky, the commander of a detachment of 68 paratroopers who participated in the expulsion of the Nazi occupiers from Mykolaiv during World War II.

By design, this amphibious assault ship is a Ro-Ro vessel with a tank deck that runs the entire length of the ship.

The main purpose of a large amphibious assault ship is to receive tracked, wheeled, and any military transport equipment and infantry units from an equipped or unequipped shore, transport them by sea, and land them on both equipped and unequipped coasts with a low slope of the bottom through an open bow device, as well as receive floating equipment from the water, transport it by sea and launch it through an open bow or stern device.

The ship can be used to set up minefields, deliver humanitarian aid, and evacuate people from dangerous areas. In addition, the amphibious assault ship can be used for military transportation, supplying ships and fleet units in dispersed locations.

Usually, the Project 775 ships operate as part of a ship's amphibious group or as part of a peacekeeping force detachment, but they can perform their functions independently, without cover ships.

Technical characteristics

The large landing ship can accept various loadings: 150 people and 10 T-55 tanks with a crew of 40 people; 12 PT-76 tanks with a crew of 36 people; a unit consisting of 3 T-55 tanks with a crew of 12 people, 3 120-mm mortars, 3 2P27 combat vehicles, 4 ZIL-130 vehicles, 4 GAZ-66 vehicles, and one GAZ-69 passenger SUV. The personnel of the landing party is 147 people.

The ship is capable of carrying cargo weighing 650 tons over a distance of 4,700 miles (7,563.9 km) and sailing in all ice-free seas and oceans without restrictions on sea state and wind. The following characteristics are also known:

  • Length - 112.59 m.
  • Width - 15 m.
  • Height - 12 m.
  • Draft - 3.7 m.


  • Standard - 3526 tons.
  • Normal - 3779 tons.
  • Full - 4016 tons.

Technical data:

  • Diesel engines 16ZV/40/48.
  • Screws - 2 fixed pitch screws.
  • Power of one engine -10,500 hp.
  • Speed - full speed 18 knots.
  • Autonomy of navigation - 30 days.


  • Artillery: 2 x AK-725
  • Torpedo and mine armament: up to 90 mines
  • Missile armament: 2 x MS-73 Thunderstorm
  • Anti-aircraft weapons: 4 x Strela-2 man-portable air defense systems

History of service

The Konstantin Olshansky was built in 1985 at the Northern Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.

From 1985 to 1996, the ship was part of the Black Sea Fleet and performed tasks typical of this class of ships: training landings, and combat service in the Mediterranean.

On March 27, 1996, the flag of the Ukrainian Navy was raised on the ship. During its service in the Ukrainian Navy, the Konstantin Olshansky took part in many naval events.

On March 22, 2011, the ship sailed to Libya to evacuate Ukrainian citizens from the country where the uprising took place, it took on board 193 passengers, including 85 citizens of Ukraine and 108 citizens from 14 countries, and on April 4 sailed back to Malta, where 79 citizens were disembarked, after which, with citizens of Ukraine and the CIS, it sailed to Sevastopol, where it arrived on April 11.

Capture by Russian occupiers in Crimea

As a result of the occupation of the Crimean peninsula by Russian troops, on the night of March 6, 2014, it was blocked in Lake Donuzlav along with six warships of the Ukrainian Navy. The blockade was accomplished by the Russian Black Sea Fleet Command sinking several decommissioned ships.

On March 20, the Russian military issued an ultimatum to the Ukrainian military to defect to Russia. The crew of the Konstantin Olshansky was one of those who refused to comply with this ultimatum, remaining faithful to their oath. On March 21, the crew began to hold a circular defense together with another Ukrainian Navy ship, the minesweeper Cherkasy.

On March 24, most of the crew left the ship without going over to Russia. There are 20 soldiers left on the ship, who, according to the ship's commander, "have to stand until the end". On March 24, about 200 Russian attack aircraft using grenades and automatic weapons seized the Konstantin Olshansky ship.

According to Ukrainian media reports, the crew disabled the propulsion system and electronic equipment. In October 2014, the Konstantin Olshansky was transferred to the base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

In January 2024, Russian media reported that the Konstantin Olshansky would not be transferred to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and that Russia intended to dispose of it.

Strike on Konstantin Olshansky

On March 24, 2024, the Ukrainian Defense Forces hit the Konstantin Olshansky ship with a Neptune anti-ship cruise missile. This was officially confirmed by the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Navy, Dmytro Pletenchuk.

According to him, for 9 years, the Russians plundered this shipyard, removing equipment and using it to repair their ships of this project, because they failed to order equipment from Poland through Russian fake agencies.

"And in the 10th year of the war, they (the Russian occupiers - ed.) realized that they were running out of large landing ships of the 7775 project and decided to restore it. Within a year, they carried out restoration work, but the purpose of this work, as we understand it, was to make a fake report to the Moscow leadership and consumers of information in Russia that they had restored one of their ships. This ship was to be used against Ukraine, unfortunately. Therefore, it was decided to hit this unit with our Neptune," Pletenchuk says.

In addition to the Konstantin Olshansky, the Ukrainian military attacked other large landing ships in Crimea, namely the Yamal and Azov.

The Ukrainian Navy also confirmed the strike on the Russian medium-sized reconnaissance ship Ivan Khurs.