A Russian missile has hit a tanker drifting in the Black Sea for more than four months.
The tanker was loaded with diesel, per the Interfax-Ukraine news agency. It cited Ukraine’s military that referred to the ship as an “ecological bomb.”
The Moldova-flagged tanker Millennial Spirit was struck twice as Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.
It was initially hit by a missile fired from a warship several days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Moldova reported that at the time, the ship had Russian crew members, and two of them were seriously injured.
Ukraine’s southern military command had reported that when the vessel was first struck in February, it was loaded with over 500 tonnes of diesel and that since then, it was drifting in the Black Sea waters with no crew.
The military mentioned in a statement that perhaps the remaining cargo is burning.
It reportedly called the vessel a “delayed-action” bomb and further blamed the fact that it was drifting without a crew on board on a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s ports. It added that a Russian Kh-31 air-to-surface missile struck the vessel.
Details of the attack could not be confirmed by Reuters independently.
Ukraine has said that Russia’s invasion has resulted in substantial ecological damage to the country and plans to seek compensation in the international courts.
Environmental threats from the invasion highlighted by Ukraine also include the pollution of its water basins.
References: Reuters, US News, BSF QH
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