A Russian Navy amphib exploded and burned at the captured port of Berdyansk, Ukraine on Thursday This was just days after Russian state media released video footage of military cargo operations at the pier. The Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed in a social media message that the Russian vessel had been “destroyed”. They’re promising that “there will be more,” but did not describe the root cause of the casualty.
Video and imagery from Berdyansk shows that an Alligator-class tank landing ship. It was either identified as the Orsk or the Saratov – exploded at the port on Thursday morning. Secondary explosions followed for an extended period of time, consistent with combustion of a cargo of munitions.
There were two other Ropucha-class tank landing ships, which had been berthed nearby. They are seen exiting the port shortly after the blast. One appeared to have sustained limited damage to its superstructure.
Russian forces have been using tank landing ships to deliver military cargo to Berdyansk since last week. They are using the port to resupply the ongoing offensive along Ukraine’s Sea of Azov coastline.
A webcam video from the southeast of the port appears to show that the first visible signs of trouble began with a small plume of white smoke. It was a large initial blast from an incoming missile or bomb. The fire appears to have evolved into a much larger conflagration over the span of 10 minutes. the smoke increasing and tall columns of flame occasionally visible.