One of Russia’s flagged tankers is said to have come under attack by unmanned naval drones near the Kerch Bridge Friday night.
A U.S.-sanctioned Russian tanker near the strategic bridge linking Russia to Crimea was damaged by an sea drone attack, Russian maritime officials said early on Saturday.
Russian state media are reporting an attack on the Sig, a Russian tanker ship, damaging the vessel and causing minor injuries to crew. Citing an unnamed Ukrainian security service source, Ukraine’s Interfax agency said the attack was conducted by Ukraine’s security and naval forces in its territorial waters, using sea drones.
Ukraine rarely publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia or on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine but has been saying in recent months that destroying Russia’s military infrastructure helps Kyiv’s counteroffensive in the 17-month-old Russian invasion.
In 2019, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the Sig, along with several other vessels and individuals for “participating in a sanctions evasion scheme to facilitate the delivery of jet fuel to Russian forces operating in Syria”.
I dug up Sig’s AIS records from the past year, and it tells a very clear story of near-monthly fuel deliveries.
Sig would sail AIS on until it hit the eastern Mediterranian, go dark for roughly a week, and then pop back up heading towards Russia.
But where was it going? pic.twitter.com/1dWn8o2xo7
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) August 5, 2023
The OSINTtechnical mentioned the Russian Sig tanker was a prolific sanctions violator and a major lifeline for the Russian war effort in Syria.