Footage of a Russian landing ship on fire and subsequently being destroyed by Ukrainian forces had surfaced online, with two other vessels being damaged in the Ukrainian city of Berdyansk. The Ukrainians reportedly posted the video showing the ship exploding at around 7:00 local time.

The Russian landing ship was later identified as a Project 1171 Alligator class landing ship known as the Orsk, which was largely hailed by the Russians earlier this week as a good development for the so-called special military operation in Ukraine. In videos published by Russian news agencies, the ship was seen to be offloading some BTR-82A amphibious armored personnel carriers to replace staggering losses in vehicles suffered by the Russian army. The BTR-82A is operated by Russian naval infantry known to be fighting in Mariupol right now.

This move from the Russians gave their positions away to the Ukrainians, who then took advantage of the situation and reportedly sunk the vessel.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense then posted a photograph of the incident announcing that they had successfully destroyed the Orsk. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar stated on Ukrainian television that they had hit a huge target on the port, which had been in Russian possession since February 27.

The two other vessels, Project 775 Ropucha-II class landing ships, were determined to be the Tsesar Kunikov and Novocherkassk. They had reportedly survived the Ukrainian attacks and were seen to be leaving the port, with one of them being on fire. The blaze was later put out, and they sailed off to safety. However, it is unsure which of the Ropucha vessels was on fire.

It is unknown how the Ukrainians managed to destroy the ship and set it ablaze. However, several open-source military analysts have hypothesized that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had used their SS-21 Scarab Tochka-U short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) or anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

The large Alligator class landing ship has been said to be able to carry 425 troops, 20 tanks, and 40 armored vehicles. The blaze, which was seen in the video as thick, black smoke, was reportedly caused by ammunition still loaded on the vessel. Russians had not finished unloading their military equipment yet, thus leaving the ammunition to burn with the fire. This prompted the ship to explode and had a rather prolonged blaze as the ammunition was also exploding due to the heat, otherwise known as a “cook-off.”