Footage of what the press has labeled a Ukrainian “kamikaze” boat blowing up a Russian tanker has been released. In it, you see the boat pulling up to seemingly identify the target before turning in a circle and coming back to strike the anchored vessel.
That comes on the heels of a similar event that happened a day earlier when the Ukrainians attacked a Russian landing ship in the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. That boat was heavily damaged and was eventually towed to shore for repairs.
It’s important to note that while the term “kamikaze” is being used by many outlets, the boat was actually an unmanned drone.
Excellent footage of the strike on the Russian tanker in the Black Sea, which was originally confused for an attack against the illegal bridge. Obviously, this incident was overshadowed by what happened to another military ship just under 24h earlier, but the effect of both… pic.twitter.com/Nlm16wBXIc
— Dmitri (@wartranslated) August 5, 2023
Originally, the explosion was reported as having taken place on the landbridge between Russia and Crimea. In reality, it was the tanker in the video that was being attacked. Reports of damage include a hole being punched into the engine room.
These kinds of drone attacks have become a staple of Ukraine’s war effort against the Russians. Other footage is out there showing aerial drones being used to release grenades on dug-in Russian troops.
Like most insurgent tactics, the point is not necessarily to exact a large military toll at any given moment but to make the enemy have to defend areas they wouldn’t otherwise have to defend. Resource management is key on any battlefield, and now the Russians will have to devote more resources to defend their shipping in the Black Sea, including in their own ports.
The subsequent fear caused by such attacks also wears down troop morale, and there have been many reports of how tiring it is for Russian soldiers to avoid these drone attacks. Worse is actually falling victim to them.
As to the Ukrainian counter-offensive, it’s hard to get a gauge of exactly where things stand. Certainly, it’s been slow-going, and the war continues to primarily be one of attrition at this point. That typically favors the country being invaded in the long run, something the United States has learned many times.