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Ukrainians hit the Konstantin Olshansky landing ship with Neptune missiles

The Ukrainian Armed Forces fired RK-360MC Neptune anti-ship missiles at the Konstantin Olshansky landing ship (BDK-56) of project 775/II (NATO reporting name: Ropucha), which was seized by Russians in Crimea in 2014.

On Tuesday, March 26, the spokesperson of the Ukrainian Navy, Captain Third Rank Dmytro Pletenchuk, told the news portal Radio Svoboda that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had fired RK-360MC Neptune anti-ship missiles at the large landing ship Konstantin Olshansky (BDK-56) of project 775/II (NATO reporting name: Ropucha, meaning “Toad” in Polish), which was seized by Russians in Crimea in 2014.

Konstantin Olszański (U-402/BDK-56) when it was still in Ukrainian service / Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristopher Regan, US Navy

For 9 years, it stood in Sevastopol Bay, was dismantled for spare parts, and simply looted. After 10 years, they realized that they were starting to lack large 775 project landing ships and approved the decision to restore it. Repair work was carried out within a year, but the purpose of these works, as we understand it, was to create a fake, in order to convey to Moscow leaders and recipients of information in Russia how they restored one of their ships. Unfortunately, this ship was intended to be used against Ukraine. That is why it was decided to strike this unit with our ‘Neptune‘, said the spokesperson on the television channel Svoboda.

Captain Pletenchuk added that the damage to the ship is still being assessed, but in any case, it is not in a combat-ready state.

The spokesperson of the Ukrainian Navy also added that the large landing ships RFS Yamal (156)/BDK-67 and RFS Azov (151)/BDK-54, hit by Storm Shadow missiles late Saturday night, will not be able to perform combat tasks in the near future, similarly to Ivan Khurs – the electronic reconnaissance ship of project 18280 Yuri Ivanov, attacked in May last year, but officially confirmed only now – the spokesperson added that the stern was damaged (The Ukrainians hit two Russian landing ships with Storm Shadow missiles).

If they hadn’t been hit, there would have been six (large landing ships) instead of five. Because the repair of the ‘Yamal’ has just been completed, unlike the ‘Azov,’ it was already coming out of repair. Therefore, it was the most appropriate moment to strike. Considering the fact that amphibious operations by the Russian Federation in the Black Sea are currently impossible, they were used as logistical tools… They were even used as ferries, said Captain Dmytro Pletenchuk.

Konstantin Olshansky originally belonged to the Soviet, then Russian, Black Sea Fleet (in 1985-1996) and was handed over to the Ukrainian side.

In March 2014, during the Russian annexation of Crimea, the Konstantin Olshansky and the minesweeper Cherkasy of project 266M (NATO reporting name: Natya) maintained defense on Lake Donuzlav for three weeks (the Russians blockaded a total of six ships, but the crews of the remaining ones surrendered). Finally, on March 24, 2014, Russian special forces boarded the Konstantin Olshansky, and the following evening – the Cherkasy. Russia never returned both vessels. The commander of the Konstantin Olshansky and many crew members remained faithful to their oath.

On March 12, 2020, the Konstantin Olshansky was towed to the Engineering Bay, along with other Ukrainian vessels seized by the Russians: the medium reconnaissance ship Slavutych, the oil spill response vessel MUS-482 (U954), the hydrographic ship Skyra (U635), the anti-sabotage boat Feodosia (U240), and the project 641 submarine Zaporizhzhia (U01). On August 2, 2021, it was reported that the Konstantin Olshansky had effectively been reintegrated into the Black Sea Fleet under the hull number 402. Since 2023, efforts have been made to restore it to operational service.

Ropucha is ‘an endangered species’ in the Black Sea

In addition to the aforementioned Ukrainian attacks on the large landing ships of project 775 (NATO reporting name: Ropucha), it is worth mentioning earlier ones. On February 14 of this year, a swarm of unmanned boats Magura V5 sunk the RFS Caesar Kunikov (158)/BDK-64 ship in the area near southern Crimea, and on December 26, 2023, another ship of this project, the RFS Novocherkassk (142)/BDK-46, was destroyed with Storm Shadow missiles. Meanwhile, on the night of September 12-13, 2023, Ukrainian forces destroyed the RFS Minsk (127)/BDK-43 in the shipyard in Sevastopol, and on August 4, 2023, the RFS Olenegorsky Gornyak (012)/BDK-91 was damaged in an attack. In total, 7 ships of this project were hit by Ukrainians, of which 3 were destroyed.

As an interesting fact, it can be added that all ships of project 775 (a total of 28 units) were built at the former “Heroes Of Westerplatte” Northern Shipyard in Gdańsk (since 2011 named Remontowa Shipbuilding). The ships are 112.5 meters long and have a displacement of 4076 tons.


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