Ukraine’s navy said it sank a large Russian landing ship near the port city of Berdyansk in southern Ukraine on Thursday, preventing attempts by Russian forces to resupply its troops at the Russian-seized city just west of Mariupol.
Photos and video posted on social media show the vessel, called the Orsk, burning in the port which was seized by Russian troops shortly after the start of Russia’s invasion last month. As the ship burns, at least two other ships are seen leaving the port with what appeared to be smaller fires burning on them.
“The destroyed ship in Berdyansk could carry up to 20 tanks, 45 armored personnel carriers and 400 paratroopers,” the Ukrainian deputy defense minister, Hanna Malyar, said in a statement on Thursday, according to The New York Times. “This is a huge target that was hit by our military.”
Ukrainian officials said two additional ships were damaged by Ukrainian forces and a 3,000-ton fuel tank was also destroyed, igniting a fire that spread to nearby ammunition supplies, according to The Associated Press.
Berdyansk, which overlooks the Sea of Azov, is roughly 45 miles west of Ukraine’s main southeast port city of Mariupol. That city has sustained widespread destruction from the war but continues to resist total Russian control.
On Thursday, Ukraine accused Russia of illegally deporting about 15,000 civilians from Mariupol to Russia since Russian forces began seizing parts of the city.