VIDEO: Russian attacks on merchant ships reported

Written by Nick Blenkey
attack on merchant ship caught on video

YouTube video shows fires blazing after attack on merchant ship Millennial Spirit.

As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, reports of Russian attacks on merchant ships are growing. Video posted on YouTube shows the Moldovan flagged, bunker vessel Millennial Spirit (IMO7392610) in flames after being struck by two missiles when at anchorage off Odessa.

Maritime security and risk analysis specialist Dryad Global reports that, according to the Ukrainian port authority the vessel had 600 tons of fuel oil and diesel on board. The vessel was reportedly hit twice, one missile hitting the superstructure, and another missile hitting the middle of the vessel. Two of the crew members are believed to have been seriously injured, including the master. The victims were taken to the port of Chernomorsk  and were taken to a local hospital by ambulance. Additional unconfirmed reporting has indicated that the vessel had a crew of 10, all of whom are understood to have been Russian nationals.

In a further report of attacks on merchant ships, Dryad says that unconfirmed reporting indicates that at 12:55 p.m yesterday (Ukraine time), a missile hit the stern of the Panama flagged bulk carrier Namura Queen (9841299) at anchorage off the port of Yuzhny.

These reports follow a reports of an attack on February 24 involving Marshall Islands flagged merchant vessel Yasa Jupiter (IMO9848132) which is understood to have been struck by a Russian missile about 50 nautical miles South of Odessa.

Dryad Global advice is that any vessel currently within Ukrainian ports should seek to leave immediately if deemed safe to do so and that all commercial operators to avoid any transit or operation within the EEZ of Ukraine or Russia, in the vicinity of the Crimean Peninsula within the Black Sea.

Subsequently, Dryad cites the Ukrainian government as saying that .following the announcement of a “counter-terrorist operation” in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, Russian navy vessels have captured two Ukrainian civilian vessels.

The first vessel is identified as the Ukrainian flagged Athena, which was reportedly sailing in Romanian waters when, 22 nm off Snake Island, she received a command to approach a Russian warship for inspection. The shipowner of the Athena immediately informed all the competent authorities in Ukraine.

Another ship is believed to have been detained after a sharp and illogical change of course was recorded. The Ukrainian flagged Princess Nicole’s AIS data was also showing a course towards Snake Island.

When both civilian vessels approached the Russian warships, their AIS were turned off and communication stopped. On February27 , AIS data indicated that they were then staying 18 nm off the coast of Crimea.

Read the full Dryad Global report

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