MOSCOW, May 25, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Russia said Wednesday it had fended off a Ukrainian attack on one of its warships in Turkish waters with unmanned vessels, the latest attempted sabotage attack Moscow has blamed on Kyiv.
"Today at 5:30 am (0230 GMT) the armed forces of Ukraine made an unsuccessful attempt to attack the Ivan Khurs ship of the Black Sea Fleet with three unmanned speedboats," the defence ministry said in a statement.
It added that the Russian vessel had been tasked with guarding pipeline infrastructure in Turkish economic waters.
The statement said that all three enemy boats have been destroyed and that the attack took place some 140 kilometres (87 miles) northeast of the Bosphorus.
"The Ivan Khurs of the Black Sea Fleet continues to fulfil its mission," the defence ministry added.
Turkey did not immediately respond to Russia's claims.
Russian warships and aircraft have been involved in several incidents in the Black Sea since Moscow launched its large-scale offensive in Ukraine in February, 2022.
In March, a US military drone crashed after an incident involving a Russian jet over the Black Sea.
The confrontation ratcheted up tensions between Moscow and Washington and spurred a rare phone call between senior US and Russian military officials.
The Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet, sank in April, 2022 following what the Kremlin said was an explosion on board. Ukraine said its forces hit it with missiles.
Ukraine and Russia last July agreed to allow Kyiv to export grain through three Black Sea ports that had been blocked by mines and Russian warships.