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Ukrainian drone operator reveals details of destroying Russian boat Ivanovets

Ukrainian drone operator reveals details of destroying Russian boat Ivanovets Photo: The Ivanovets missile boat (Russian media)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The Russian missile boat Ivanovets was sunk by an attack by ten Ukrainian MAGURA maritime drones, six of which hit their target, according to CNN.

A secret Ukrainian unit was behind the attack. One of the drone operators told CNN that MAGURA drones are only a few meters long and are propelled by water motors, but they have a long range of about 800 kilometers, which gives his unit the ability to launch their drones from large sections of Ukraine's coastline for missions against Crimean targets.

The operator with the call sign "13" is a member of a special Defense Intelligence of Ukraine unit that frequently uses drones.

The nighttime footage released by the Ukrainians shows Russians firing at drones racing toward the Ivanovets before at least one drone hits the side of the ship, disabling it and causing powerful explosions.

The footage includes a striking scene where the bow of the Ivanivets sticks out of the water as it sinks to the bottom of Lake Donuzlav, CNN notes.

Jeweler’s work

The impact of the drones is impressive, but it's a delicate job, according to the operator. "The main thing is to feel the drone. If you squeeze it a little, you can lose control of the drone. I would say it’s like jeweler’s work" he tells CNN.

Ukrainian drone operator reveals details of destroying Russian boat Ivanovets

Controlled from afar via a Starlink connection, the drones can also be pre-programmed for long journeys across the Black Sea.

According to him, the pilot constantly monitors the drone's movement, and the final attack on the target is often controlled manually.

The drone's payload of 250 kg can be increased to 300 kg, he adds, "but there is no need to do so." Even against some of the most powerful ships in the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the drones have proven effective.

At nearly six meters long, the drones tower impressively above the water. But once afloat, they become a difficult target for Russian defense.

Ukrainian drone operator reveals details of destroying Russian boat Ivanovets

"They are quite difficult to see, especially in the open sea. This size makes it difficult to control it because the sea is choppy but it also makes it much harder for the enemy to hit us," he says.

According to the pilot, the weapons aboard Russian warships were not designed to accommodate the use of drones, forcing targets like the Ivanovoets to use guns more suited to dueling with other ships.

The video of the attack shows shells hitting the water as the drones target the Ivanovets. Ammunition is not able to stop the drones.

During a drone demonstration on the Black Sea, CNN saw one drone - identical to those used against the Ivanovets - performing tight turns at speed on autopilot. "It’s agile by design," the pilot says.

"No warship can be as manoeuvrable as these drones," he adds.

Ivanovets elimination

On the night of February 1, fighters from one of the DIU's units destroyed the Ivanovets missile boat of the Russian Black Sea Fleet with MAGURA V5 naval drones. The cost of the ship is 60-70 million dollars. According to a representative of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, Andrii Yusov, there were only three such boats in Russia.

Overall, since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian military has put about 33% of the Russian Black Sea Fleet out of action.

Read more about the Russian Ivanovets missile boat, which was sunk by the DIU's drones, in RBC-Ukraine's article.