Ukrainian military operations have destroyed 15 Russian warships in the Black Sea and damaged 12 others since the start of the full-scale invasion, Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk reported on Nov. 17.
Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukrainian forces have repeatedly struck ships from the Black Sea Fleet, causing what U.K. Armed Forces Minister James Heappey characterized as a "functional defeat" of Russia's naval forces in the Black Sea.
"We can count the ones that have already been taken out of action. These are 15 destroyed and 12 damaged ships. Not all of this is the result of our drones, but they have also caused quite a lot of damage to ships," Pletenchuk said on television.
Pletenchuk also said that Ukraine is now a "driver of this new type of naval warfare," showing "a new level of application of unmanned systems." He also said that Ukraine has a separate drone brigade that uses both surface and underwater unmanned systems for reconnaissance, mine clearance, and strikes.
According to the General Staff's latest report, Russia has lost 22 ships and boats since the beginning of its all-out war against Ukraine.
Earlier in October, the "Pavel Derzhavin," a patrol ship from Russia's Black Sea Fleet, was damaged by an explosion, Pletenchuk told the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Pletenchuk said he could not discuss more details about the incident nor the extent of the damage but confirmed there had been explosions and subsequent damage.