Still frame of the drone attack video published by the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine. February 2024

How Magura V5 Drones Destroyed Caesar Kunikov: Detailed Video Analysis and Mayhem on the russian Landing Ship

Still frame of the drone attack video published by the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine. February 2024

The success in sinking the big russian warship is attributed to a refined tactics of a well-coordinated swarm attack on the Ukrainian side, while the russian response was sailors armed with rifles

Footage, earlier published by Defense Intelligence of Ukraine sheds light on the naval operation in the Black Sea which led to another russian military vessel being eliminated without a chance for repair. The warship is no ordinary: it was the Caesar Kunikov "big landing ship," according to the russian classification, belonging to Project 775, known as Ropucha class in NATO. Over a hundred meters in length and displacement of more than 2,700 tons in empty load, Caesar Kunikov became the first target of such caliber to be sunk by Ukrainian naval drones.

The attack was executed by the Group 13 unit of the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence behind the attack, with a swarm of at least three Magura V5 drones consecutively targeting weak spots of the russian warship, and the fourth one recording the result.

Read more: ​Ukrainian Forces Sink russian Caesar Kunikov Landing Ship (Video)

Presuming the events in the video are shown in chronological order, we can see that the first Ukrainian unmanned surface vehicle approached Caesar Kunikov from the side of the shore and was aiming at the bow of the ship. This is where the ramp is located, which is generally a vulnerable spot for the landing watercraft craft of this category. Notably, despite there being two AK-725 automatic cannons (57mm) in this part of the vessel, they don't appear to be shooting in the footage.

AK-725 guns on a Project 775 landing craft
AK-725 guns on a Project 775 landing craft / Open source illustrative photo

On the other hand, we can see russian marines running around and trying to shoot down the incoming drone with rifles.

The outcome is evident: all things considered, the explosion most likely hits the bow, opening the first breach in the main hold of the ship.

Longitudinal section of a Project 775 landing ship
Longitudinal section of a Project 775 landing ship / Open source illustrative image

Seconds before the strike, Magura V5 spotts one more russian sailor with a rifle struggling to repel the explosive uncrewed vessel.

Then, another drone approaches, this time from the sea direction. The strike from the opposite side of the hull hits the part where the power plant is located, the latter is clearly visible thanks to the thermal imager.

Next, one more drone aims at the same spot, not just inflicting damage but aggravating it further. On a note of reminder, each Magura V5 carries over 300 kg of explosives and travels at a maximum speed of almost 80 km/h.

Finally, there's also at least one more drone to confirm the kill onto Caesar Kunikov by watching it capsize with a trim by stern and subsequently sink into the water.

Thus, russia has lost its already fourth landing ship Caesar Kunikov, preceded by Saratov, Minsk, and Novocherkassk ships, accordingly. Also, Ukrainian naval drones managed to damage Olenegorsky Gornyak, putting it out of order until it's repaired.

Earlier Defense Express analyzed the secret of Ukraine's success during the previous naval attack on the Ivanovets missile corvette, as we analyzed similarly the video filmed by the sea drones.

Magura V5 unmanned surface vehicle
Magura V5 unmanned surface vehicle / Illustrative still frame credit: CNN
Read more: ​Fedorov About What a "Ukrainian Lancet" Needs to be Effective, Upgraded Naval Magura V5, and Drone Parity with russia