What exactly happened in Novorossiysk tonight and the results of the Ukrainian attack are still unclear. However, some things have been clarified after several hours, and based on confirmed facts, we will try to reconstruct what occurred.
Tonight, some Ukrainian naval drones attacked the military port of Novorossiysk, considered by Russian military authorities safer than Sevastopol (so much so that some units were moved from Crimea to this port). As usual, Russian authorities initially claimed that the attack had been thwarted, but images and videos on the web have refuted those claims.
The Russian Navy amphibious assault ship ‘Olenegorsky Gornyak‘ was hit on its left side by at least one drone and appeared to be heavily listing on the left.
Some videos showed it being towed into the port by several tugboats, but it is unclear whether the ship managed to stay afloat or sank, although it is undoubtedly rendered inoperative.
Additionally, the attack also targeted the CPC pipeline terminal, damaging it. Given the distance from Ukrainian shores, it is not ruled out that the attacking drones were brought closer to the target by a mother ship, although some Ukrainian maritime drones have the autonomy to reach the Russian port independently.
Regardless of the actual military impact (which remains limited, even if the sinking of Olenegorsky Gornyak is confirmed), the psychological impact is significant, as no Russian port on the Black Sea can now be considered 100% safe.
As a final note, it’s worth emphasizing that no (traceable) NATO assets have operated in the area recently.