Ukraine says it destroyed a large Russian landing ship in the Black Sea. From Reuters

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¬©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Russian Navy’s large landing ship Caesar Kunikov sets sail in the Bosphorus, en route to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Yoruk Isik/File Photo

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KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces destroyed the Russian Navy’s large landing ship Tsezar Kunikov off the occupied Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea on Wednesday, Kiev’s armed forces said.

A Ukrainian news outlet published several videos showing a column of smoke rising over the sea off the southern coast of Crimea, as well as helicopters flying over the sea.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine, together with the intelligence unit of the Ministry of Defense, destroyed the large landing ship Tsezar Kunikov. It was in Ukrainian territorial waters near Alupka at the time of impact,” the military said on the app of Telegram messaging.

There was no immediate comment from Russia, which had previously said it had destroyed six drones in the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said the Russian warship was attacked with naval drones.

Ukraine has used unmanned naval drones packed with explosives to attack Russian warships in an attempt to drive them out of western parts of the Black Sea, making it possible to open a shipping corridor along a traditionally key export route.

In December, Ukrainian cruise missiles hit another large Russian warship landing in Crimea.

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