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A massive fireball erupted from a Russian Navy amphibious ship while it was docked in the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk in southern Ukraine on Thursday. The Ukrainian navy asserted the tank-landing ship had been “destroyed.”
Video shows a huge explosion and fire on the Project 1171 Alligator-class landing ship Orsk. A thick black plume of smoke billowed from the fiery ship and spread over the harbor.
[embedded content] БЕРДЯНСК: взрывы и пожар в порту 24 марта 2022 года www.youtube.com
“There have been claims made that the Ukrainian Armed Forces launched an attack on the Orsk, potentially using one of their Tochka (SS-21 Scarab) short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), but there’s so far no evidence to confirm exactly what led to the inferno on the vessel,” the Drive reported.
The Ukrainian navy claimed on Facebook, “In the temporarily captured Russian port Berdyansk, a large paratrooper ship ‘Orsk’ of the Black Sea Fleet of occupiers was destroyed.”
Ukraine’s armed forces celebrated on social media by saying, “The morning starts with good news! The large landing ship ‘Orsk’ of the Black Sea Fleet of the occupiers was destroyed in the captured Russian port of Berdyansk.”
“That’s only the beginning,” a Ukrainian military source told the Times.
The 370-foot ship can transport as many as 425 troops as well as 20 tanks or 40 armored vehicles and is beachable to unload vehicles on land.
Two Project 775 Ropucha-II class landing ships — Tsesar Kunikov and Novocherkassk — had burning debris on their decks, and the fires were quickly extinguished, according to military analyst H.I. Sutton.
“It marks the largest ship that Ukrainian forces have managed to strike so-far and represents another embarrassing loss for Vladimir Putin’s beleaguered army,” according to the Daily Mail.
A day before the strike, Russian state media was touting the ships supplying reinforcements at the captured port city on the Sea of Azov. The video shows armored personnel carriers being extracted from the Orsk.
“By land, air and now sea, Russian troops continue to advance and reinforce into Ukraine,” RT reporter Murad Gazdiev said in the video. “The Azov Sea, with its ports and towns, is now under Russian control…which has allowed Russia’s Black Sea fleet to and the Orsk landing ship to stage this operation.”
Berdyansk was captured by Russian military forces on Feb. 27. The port city is roughly 50 miles southwest of the besieged city of Mariupol.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday that approximately 100,000 people are enduring “inhumane conditions” in Mariupol.
“For more than a week now, we have been trying to organize stable humanitarian corridors for Mariupol residents. And almost all our attempts, unfortunately, are disrupted by the Russian occupiers. By shelling or deliberate terror,” Zelenskyy said during a televised address.
Zelenskyy said the people of Maiupol have “no food, no water, no medicine.”
The local council in Mariupol said Russian airstrikes were turning the city into the “ashes of a dead land.”
Drone footage released this week by Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs shows the devastation to Mariupol after weeks of heavy shelling by the Russian military. Russian bombardments from artillery, airstrikes, and naval vessels have turned the city into ruins.
[embedded content] Drone footage shows scale of devastation in Mariupol www.youtube.com