A Russian missile strike has sunk the Ukrainian Navy patrol boat Sloviansk, a former US Coast Guard vessel transferred to Ukraine in 2019.
According to the major of port city of Yuzhny, in the Odessa region, Russian troops sank the ship on March 3.
The major did not elaborate on what kind of missiles were used to sink the ship, adding only that a number of sailors went missing.
Details are scarce, but the reported sinking occurred at a time when a larger Russian Navy task group, including four large landing ships and three missile boats, was observed approaching Odessa.
Sloviansk (former US Coast Guard cutter Cushing) was one of two boats handed over to Ukraine in 2019, alongside with Starobilsk (former USCGC Drummond). Two more Island-class patrol boats, Sumy and Fastiv, were commissioned with the Ukrainian Navy in December last year, while a fifth one was to be handed over this year.
The fate of these boats, as well as the Gyurza-M artillery boats that were in service with the Ukrainian Navy at the start of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, is unknown.
What is known is that the Ukrainian flagship, frigate Hetman Sahaidachny, was scuttled in order to prevent it from falling into Russian hands. The ship’s commander was given the order to scuttle it while it was under repairs in Mykolaiv.
Ukraine’s defense minister Oleksiy Reznikov acknowledged the scuttling of the frigate, saying it was “tough decision for a brave warrior and the whole team.”
“We will build a new fleet, modern and powerful. The main thing now is to resist,” he added.