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Ukrainian Naval Success Acknowledged Months Later: russian Trawlers Sweep Seamines Deployed by Ukrainian Drones

Ivan Golubets naval trawler of the Black Sea Fleet of the russian Navy / Illustrative archive photo
Ivan Golubets naval trawler of the Black Sea Fleet of the russian Navy / Illustrative archive photo
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russian minesweeping ships were clearing out the Black Sea waters near Sevastopol from the naval mines allegedly laid by Ukrainian naval drones

On October 14, 2023, the russian Black Sea Fleet utilized mine-sweeping ships, including Vice-Admiral Zakharin, Ivan Antonov, Ivan Golubets, and Kovrovets, to conduct combat trawling to clear out sea mines in the outer roadstead of Sevastopol Bay, marking the first time since 1974 that such action was taken in russia.

This information was reported by the bmpd blog (available in public access), referencing the Morskoy sbornik monthly magazine from the russian Ministry of Defense, issue No. 12 (not available in public access).

Read more: Anti-Boat FPV Drones: russians Are Testing Copters Against Naval Targets
Sea mines of the MYaM and KPM types
Sea mines of the MYaM and KPM types / Open source illustrative photo

To put it simply, the Ukrainian Defense Forces in an unknown way successfully deployed a significant number of sea mines in the area in October 2023, prompting an immediate need for combat trawling by the russian fleet.

And apparently, this episode was so sensitive that russians acknowledged the very fact of such an event only two months later.

Surface ships of the Ukrainian Navy can be ruled out as the source of mine deployment.

Just in case, we remind you that publicly available data indicates the Balta auxiliary ship was converted into a minelayer just months before russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine.

Balta auxiliary (minelayer) ship of the Ukrainian Navy
Balta auxiliary (minelayer) ship of the Ukrainian Navy / Open source archive photo

Instead, we should pay attention to The Times' mention of Ukrainian naval drones capable of laying sea mines.

According to the British newspaper, the Ukrainian Defense Forces reportedly possess unmanned boats with this capability, although specific details remain undisclosed.

This incident follows a pattern where russian authorities acknowledge Ukrainian successes with a significant time lag, which Ukraine itself kept silent about.

For instance, in September 2023, russia admitted that one Tu-141 Strizh suicide drone damaged three Tu-22M3 strategic bombers and one Kh-32 missile at Dyagilevo air base in December 2022 — acknowledged 9 months after the incident occurred.

Magura V5, a Ukrainian sea drone that reportedly received minelaying capability recently
Magura V5, a Ukrainian sea unmanned surface vehicle that reportedly received minelaying capability recently / Still frame credit: CNN
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