Home Europe Ukrainian gun boat seized by Russia in 2018 returns to service

Ukrainian gun boat seized by Russia in 2018 returns to service

Ukrainian Navy artillery boat Nikopol
Gyurza-M boat Nikopol returning to water after overhaul

One of the two Ukrainian Navy Gyurza-M artillery boats seized by Russia in the Kerch Strait incident in November 2018 is ready for a return to service after repairs.

The seized Nikopol underwent the repairs along with another boat in the class, the Vyshhorod, at the Mykolaiv Shipyard in the Black Sea.

The two units underwent steering systems repairs, electrical systems updates and hull work. Both boats have returned to water and will soon be handed over to the Ukrainian Navy, according to state-owned company Ukroboronoprom.

Artillery boats Nikopol and Berdyansk were seized by Russia, along with a tugboat, in 2018, as the Ukrainian vessels attempted to cross the Kerch Strait en route from the Black Sea port of Odessa to the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol in the Azov Sea.

Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) personnel opened fire at the Ukrainian units, injuring several sailors and arresting others.

The boats were returned in November 2019 but Ukraine claimed the vessels were returned in a significantly damaged state.

A total of six Gyurza-M boats are in service with the Ukrainian Navy, with another 14 units expected to be acquired. The boats measure 23 meters in length and are fitted with two modules of remote-controlled 30mm guns, featuring grenade and anti-tank or anti-air missile launchers.