Artillery sinks Russian warship in Dnipro River, says Ukraine

The sinking of the Russian vessel has taken on a greater symbolic meaning to Ukraine in the war.

Russian missile cruiser Moskva is moored in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Ukraine, May 10, 2013. (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER/FILE PHOTO)
Russian missile cruiser Moskva is moored in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Ukraine, May 10, 2013.
(photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER/FILE PHOTO)

A Russian warship was allegedly sunk by Ukrainian artillery in the Dnipro River on Tuesday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed.

The class of the vessel was still being determined, said the General Staff on Facebook. An infrared photo accompanying the announcement shows what appears to be a patrol boat on fire.

"Ukrainian artillery has successfully shot a Russian war boat on the Dnipro River," the Ukrainian Defense Ministry tweeted on Tuesday.

The ship was reportedly in the delta of the strategic river, which bisects Ukraine as well as its capital Kyiv. In November, Russian forces retreated to the east bank of the river. The Ukrainian port city Kherson, which was recaptured in November after it had been occupied by Russia since early March, sits at the mouth of the Dnipro, were the river flows past several islands into the Black Sea via the Dniprovska Gulf.

Continuing the count of casualties

The Ukrainian Defense ministry posted its daily count of Russian casualties on Tuesday with an additional warship marked sunk, bringing the tally up to 17 since the war began on February 24.

 Russian Navy Day parade in Baltiysk (credit: REUTERS) Russian Navy Day parade in Baltiysk (credit: REUTERS)

While the Russian Black Sea Fleet far surpasses the Ukrainian fleet numerically and enjoys a great degree of control over maritime traffic in the Black Sea, it has been unable to achieve naval superiority in the body of water due to Ukraine's land-to-sea combat capabilities.

Western nations have supplied anti-ship missiles such as the Harpoon to Ukraine, but it also has its own indigenously developed Neptune missile, a pair of which were famously used to sink the Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva.

The sinking of Russian warships has taken on a greater symbolic meaning to Ukraine in the war, especially online, where it has taken on a memetic quality.

During the initial hours of the invasion, the Moskva was part of the task force that took Snake Island. Guards stationed there refused to surrender, saying "Russian warship, go f*** yourself." The phrase has been repeated many times since to express defiance against the Kremlin. The obstinance of the guards and the response to the Moskva, and its sinking, have even been featured on postcards and postal stamps.