VIDEO: Ukrainian drone holes sanctioned Russian tanker

Written by Nick Blenkey
Drone strike on sanctioned Russian tanker

Drone attack on tanker reportedly holed it on the waterline near the engine room. [Screen grab from YouTube video]

Ukraine has followed up on its drone strike on a Russian Navy warship with a drone strike, Saturday, on a sanctioned Russian tanker, the Sig. Interfax Ukraine quotes sources in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) as saying that the tanker was being used to transport fuel for Russian troops.

The Sig is a 6,619 dwt 2014-built Russian-built products tanker owned by Ugra-Leasing LLC and operated by Transpetrochart LLC. Both the ship and Transpetrochart are on the U.S. OFAC sanctions list. Transpetrochart has been sanctioned since 2016 when it was identified as a front for Sovfracht and the Sig was added to the sanctions list in 2019 for its role in supplying jet fuel to Russian forces bombing civilian targets in Syria in support of the Assad regime.

According to reports, because of its role in regularly supplying the Russian military, Ukraine does not consider the sanctioned Russian tanker a civilian vessel but a legitimate military target.

The drone that struck the Sig was reportedly carrying 450 kilograms of TNT and reports indicate it holed the tanker in the water line area

Citing multiple Telegram channel posts, Ukrinform reports that the tanker was anchored in the area of the Kerch Strait bridge when it was hit and quotes the following transcript from a transmission from the vessel:

“We ourselves cannot move without a tugboat. The engine room is flooded. We do not know what our management will there. We need to be tugged to a shipyard or something. We didn’t drain the water out, it stopped coming in by itself (the water). We just have as much there as it is. The ship is in ballast. All cargo tanks are empty. The ship is afloat. The water rose to the waterline until it stopped.”

Imagery of the flooded engine room is all over X (formerly Twitter).

The attack on the Sig comes amid reports of stepped up attempts to hit Russian supply lines that have included strikes on bridges in occupied Crimea.

On August 4, Ukraine announced a war risk area in the waters of Russian ports on the Black Sea.

“War risk area. The water area of the internal and external roads of the ports of Anapa, Novorossiysk, Gelendzhik, Tuapse, Sochi, Taman,” said a statement on the website of the hydrographic service of the State Maritime and River Transport Service.

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