Russian officials claimed on Saturday that a Ukrainian drone strike damaged a tanker in the Kerch Strait near the occupied Crimea peninsula. Oleg Kryuchkov, a Russian-appointed adviser to the head of Crimea, said residents of the city of Kerch heard explosions late on Friday, the state-run TASS news agency reported.
On its part, the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Novorossiysk said the loud noises were the result of an attack on a Russian-flagged tanker by Ukrainian armed forces in the Kerch Strait, a narrow sea passage between Russia and occupied Crimea. “The engine room of one tanker was damaged, however its crew is safe. Two tugboats arrived in emergency,” it said.
As a result of the attack, vehicular traffic was temporarily suspended, but it has resumed. Vladimir Rogov, a senior Russian-appointed official in the Zaporizhia military-civilian administration, claimed that Ukraine had used a maritime drone to target the tanker.
Naval drones, or sea drones, are small, unmanned vessels that operate on or under the surface of water. Ukraine has not yet responded to the alleged attack.