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‘Enemy Retreated Again:’ Russian Warship Vasily Bykov Likely Damaged In Ukrainian Missile Strike

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KEY POINTS

  • A video showed strikes being exchanged, which was when the ship was reportedly hit
  • The ship seen in the video getting the worst of a firefight was reportedly Vasily Bykov
  • The extent of the damage could not immediately be independently confirmed

A Russian warship, which bombed the Snake Island in the Black Sea on the first day of Russia-Ukraine conflict, has been damaged by Kyiv’s navy. 

The Vasily Bykov was believed to be one of the ships that opened fire on 13 Ukrainian service members late last month.

Ukrainian sources confirmed to several media outlets the ship seen in a video, shared by Ukraine’s media, getting the worst of a firefight Monday morning near Odessa was Vasily Bykov. The video showed strikes being exchanged, which was when the Russian ship was targeted, Ukraine’s soldiers claimed.

The extent of the damage could not immediately be independently confirmed.

“Units of the Marines of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine defending the Odessa region hit an enemy ship,” a translation of the video’s caption reads. “The enemy retreated again.”

Audio of that exchange appears to record one Ukrainian soldier confirming the successful strike.

“We f—— hit them,” a man is heard saying on a recording of the conflict, the Times of London reported, while another person joyfully recalls the phrase “Russian warship — go f— yourself.”

An outlet called Ukraine Reporter claimed the ship was now at the bottom of the Black Sea, and the status of its crew was unknown. However, this could not be confirmed.

The Valisy Bykov, a small warship known as a “corvette,” was one of two Russian vessels that opened fire on Snake Island on Feb. 24. Ukrainian troops on the island became a metaphor for Ukraine’s bold resistance against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s massive military when they responded by saying “Go f— yourself” to Russia’s calls for surrender.

After warships opened fire on the small island, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said “all border guards died heroically, but did not give up.” Ukraine’s navy later revealed the group survived, and was “taken captive by the Russian invaders.” Russian state media later showed the Ukrainian soldiers’ arrival in Sevastopol, Crimea, where they are reportedly being held.

Thousands of people have died, and more than 2 million people have already fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.

Tanks on the roads around Bila Tserkva are trying to keep Russian forces from fully surrounding Kyiv Photo: AFP / Aris Messinis

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