Early Thursday morning, Ukrainian officials announced the destruction of the Russian Alligator-class amphibious landing ship Orsk in the Russian-occupied port city of Berdyansk. Drone footage released on social media has confirmed that the large vessel is indeed burning.
Russia’s Alligator-class amphibious landing ships, sometimes referred to as transport dock ships, are large vessels capable of transporting a great deal of firepower. Originally commissioned in 1968, the Orsk (BDK-69) has seen a great deal of use over its decades of service, most recently delivering Russian hardware to Syria. It is one of just three Alligator-class vessels still in service with the Russian Navy.
“The destroyed ship in Berdyansk could carry up to 20 tanks, 45 armored personnel carriers and 400 paratroopers,” the Ukrainian deputy defense minister, Anna Malyar, said in a statement on Thursday.
“This is a huge target that was hit by our military.”
Although the ship can clearly be seen burning in drone footage, Sandboxx News could not confirm that the vessel has indeed been destroyed. Whether or not it can be repaired or salvaged remains to be seen.
The Orsk was recently shown on Russian state television delivering armored vehicles in the Berdyansk port. Per the Russian report, the vessel had been tasked with reinforcing Russian troops in the nation’s South East, not far from some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict.
Berdynask is only about 50 miles from the hotly contested city of Mariupol. According to international reports, some 100,000 civilians remain trapped inside Mariupol, facing heavy Russian bombardment from rockets, artillery, and airstrikes.