Russia claimed on Wednesday that it had destroyed the last major warship of the Ukrainian naval forces, which it said was stationed in the southern port of Odesa. The ship, named ‘Yuri Olefirenko’, was a medium-size landing ship for troops and vehicles. Ukraine has not commented on the claim. The ship was first named ‘Kirovograd’ but was renamed in 2016 in honour of a Ukrainian marine killed near Mariupol in 2015. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky decorated its crew in June 2022.
The Russian army said in its daily briefing that “On May 29, a high-precision strike by the Russian Air Force on a ship anchorage site in the port of Odesa destroyed the last warship of the Ukrainian Navy, the ‘Yuri Olefirenko’”. However, AFP was not able to independently confirm the claim.
The ship’s crew had been guarding the Ukrainian Navy during Ukraine’s Navy Day celebrations. The sailor pictured in the news article was saluting while guarding the ship in Odessa.