Day 741: Ukraine sinks another Russian warship

Ukraine sinks another Russian warship. Macron urges allies “not to be cowards” on Ukraine. ICC investigates Russia’s strikes at Ukraine’s energy grid, issues first arrest warrants.

Ukraine sinks another Russian warship

The defense intelligence of Ukraine said maritime drones operated by its “Group 13” special unit struck and sank the Russian patrol ship Sergei Kotov in the Black Sea overnight on Tuesday.

“As a result of the attack by Magura V5 naval drones, the Russian ship of project 22160 ‘Sergei Kotov’ suffered damage to the stern, right and left sides,” the Main Intelligence Department of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine said in a statement. 

The ship was destroyed near the Kerch Strait, off the Crimea coast. The mission was conducted in cooperation with the Ukrainian Navy and with the support of Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, it added.

Ukraine’s defense intelligence estimated the loss to Russia’s navy of being around USD 65 million. Ukraine has been successfully targeting Russian warships since the invasion. 

On February 15, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Navy Dmytro Pletenchuk said that Russia had five remaining large landing ships in the Black Sea out of the 13 it had at the onset of the invasion. 

“The Black Sea is not safe for Putin’s Navy. Until recently that would have been unimaginable,” UK Secretary of State for Defense Grant Shapps wrote on X, commenting the sinking of the Sergei Kotov.

Macron urges allies “not to be cowards” on Ukraine

While on a visit to the Czech Republic on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron has urged Ukraine’s allies not to be “cowards” in supporting the country. 

Speaking at a meeting with the French community in Prague, Macron said: “We are surely approaching a moment for Europe in which it will be necessary not to be cowards.” 

In a reference to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Macron said that France and the Czech Republic were “well aware that war is back on our soil (in Europe), that some powers which have become unstoppable are extending every day their threat of attacking us even more, and that we will have to live up to history and the courage that it requires.”

Macron also stressed his support for plans announced last month by the Czech Republic to finance the rapid purchase of hundreds of thousands of ammunition rounds from third countries to dispatch to Ukraine.

Macron said France will support the initiative without specifying the contribution.

ICC investigates Russia’s strikes at Ukraine’s energy grid, issues first arrest warrants

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants against two high-ranking Russian military officials, accusing them of war crimes against Ukrainian civilians. Sergei Kobylash, a lieutenant-general in the Russian Armed Forces, and Viktor Sokolov, an admiral in the Russian Navy, were the pair listed in the warrant. The warrants of arrest were issued “in the context of the situation in Ukraine for alleged crimes committed from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023,” following applications filed by the prosecution, ICC said.

The two warrants of arrest were issued following applications filed by the Prosecution.

The court’s Pre-Trial Chamber II said there are reasonable grounds to believe that the two suspects bear responsibility for missile strikes carried out by the forces under their command against the Ukrainian energy infrastructure from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023.

The ICC said Kobylash and Sokolov are responsible for war crimes of directing attacks at civilians, causing excessive harm to civilians and the crime against humanity of inhumane acts.

There are reasonable grounds to believe they bear individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes for (i) having committed the acts jointly and/or through others, (ii) ordering the commission of the crimes, and/or (iii) for their failure to exercise proper control over the forces under their command, the statement reads.

The content of the warrants is issued ‘secret’ in order to protect witnesses and to safeguard the investigations. However, mindful that conduct similar to that addressed in the present situation, which amounts to violations of international humanitarian law, is alleged to be ongoing, the Chamber considers that public awareness of the warrants may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes.

“Therefore, Pre-Trial Chamber II considers it to be in the interest of justice to authorise the Registry to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants, the name of the suspects, the crimes for which the warrants are issued, and the modes of liability,” the statement reads.

Ukrainian Diplomat’s Perspective on Russia-NATO Dynamics. Ukraine in Flames #581

The heroic efforts of the Ukrainian people over the past two years have given Western partners time to prepare. Ukraine will not back down. But this does not guarantee peace in other parts of Europe. Threats from terrorism, uncontrolled migration, radicalism or even climate change are more visible and seem to require priority attention and response. But it’s only before a multi-ton missile launched from a Russian strategic bomber, capable of reaching almost anywhere in Europe, lands in your backyard. Watch Ukraine in flames #581 where we will talk with prominent Ukrainian diplomat and expert Valeriy Chaly about the current state and future prospects of Ukraine, EU, NATO and the world in general.


  • Valeriy Chaly, Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA (2015-2019)