At least five Russian light craft carrying reconnaissance and sabotage teams were destroyed by the Ukrainian military over 24 hours, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed on Tuesday.
The motor boats were sunk in the island chains at the delta of the Dnieper river, where it flows into the Black Sea. In November, Russian forces retreated to the east bank of the strategic river, which bisects Ukraine and flows through several major cities.
Ukrinform reported that Russia has intensified the operations of sabotage and reconnaissance teams in the area of the islands.
Russian ships at Ukrainian shores
A Russian warship was sunk in the same area on January 10 by Ukrainian artillery. While it was unclear what class the vessel was at the time of the sinking, an infrared photo accompanying the announcement showed what appeared to be a patrol boat on fire.
Following the reports of the sinking of the five motor boats, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry did not update its tally of Russian ships destroyed by its forces, perhaps indicating that they were too minor to count or unconfirmed.
A total of 18 Russian warships and other vessels have been destroyed by the Ukrainian military since the war began on February 23.
According to the Ukrainian navy, on Tuesday there were 12 Russian ships were in the Black Sea on standby for combat operations. Three of the ships were armed with Kalibr sea-to-land missiles, which the Black Sea Fleet has sporadically used to bombard Ukrainian positions.
While Ukraine has little in terms of a conventional navy after much of it was destroyed or seized in the Russian conquering of Sevastopol in 2014, it has defied Russian attempts of complete Naval superiority in the Black Sea with the use of anti-ship missiles and naval drones.
The Russian fleet has been wary about getting close to the Ukrainian shore, and at times in recent months has decreased the presence of its missile boats to zero.