The Russian defense ministry claimed it fired on the Ukrainian Apache, a dry-cargo ship, which allegedly changed course and attempted to break through to the Mariupol seaport, the ministry said.
The Ukrainian dry-cargo ship did not respond to Russian border guards’ demands to contact them through the international channel and continued heading in the direction of Mariupol port, Russia claimed.
Russia said two border patrol ships fired warning artillery along the vessel’s course, but the cargo ship did not change course or slow down.
The cargo ship, over radio communication, transmitted a message, saying, “I am ‘Maniac’, coming for you,” and signal fires were observed on the shore, according to Russia’s defense ministry.
The Black Sea Fleet then opened artillery fire on the Apache dry-cargo ship to block the vessel, Russia’s defense ministry said.
A direct hit caused a fire in the stern of the ship and it then went adrift. The crew got in touch with border ships with a request to cease fire and said they will comply with the demands of Russian sailors, Russia said.
Russia said no crew members were injured and the fire was extinguished by the ship’s crew.
The ship was inspected and then convoyed to the Yeysk port along with its crew, according to Russia.