Where is Ivan Kurs and what happened to him?


On May 24, at 5:30 a.m., the Russian spy ship Ivan Kurs was located 140 kilometers northeast of the Bosphorus Strait. There, she was said to be carrying out the tasks of protecting the Turkish Stream and Blue Stream gas pipelines, when the alarms sounded on board. Three Ukrainian water drones loaded with explosives were approaching the ship at high speed. The KPV 14.5 mm naval machine guns aimed at them. One of the drones was blown up on the surface, while one evaded the barrage and crashed into the rear port side of the ship. What happened then?

First, the Russian version. The Ministry of Defense claimed that the crew “successfully destroyed all three unmanned speedboats”. As proof, they also published a video of a drone approaching a ship of the Black Sea Fleet. This was blown up under a hail of missiles from the ship.

The Ukrainian military released a video from a camera mounted on a water drone, disproving the claims of the Russian Defense Ministry. The video shows that at least one vessel managed to avoid the operation of the naval machine guns, approach the ship and collide with it.


Ukraine shared a video of a drone crashing into the Russian ship Ivan Kurs

In all probability, Ivan Kurs suffered damage. It is not known at this time what it is. Alleged photos of the heavily damaged hull of the ship quickly circulated online, but it soon turned out to be a nearly 23-year-old photo of the American destroyer USS Cole, which attacked al-Qaeda in Yemen.

The photos actually show the damaged American destroyer USS Cole in 2000
The photos actually show the damaged American destroyer USS Cole in 2000PHOTO: Google

They then rushed to prove to the Russian side that everything was fine with the ship. The Ministry of Defense published footage of the ship’s return to the Black Sea Fleet’s port in Sevastopol, and at the same time, a few more photos appeared from other sources, allegedly proving that the ship was undamaged.


But even in this case it is not without controversy, as some of the photos are probably just as old. However, the authenticity of the Russian Ministry of Defense recording cannot be independently verified. Some also speculate that it could be an old recording or another ship of the same class – Yuri Ivanov.

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Even in the case of an attack on a spy ship, sharp clashes take place in the information sphere between the supporters of one side and the other, who try to demonstrate their successes and discredit the information of the opponent.

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The Ivan Kurs is a 4,000 ton intelligence gathering ship. It measures 95 meters in length and reaches a speed of 20 knots. It is armed with four 14.5 mm machine guns and six portable anti-aircraft systems 9K38 Igla. It is one of the newer Russian ships that has been in service with the Russian Navy since 2017. The plan was to build four ships by 2020, but the timeline has been pushed back to 2025.

Intelligence ship Ivan Kurs
Intelligence ship Ivan KursPHOTO: Telegram


The first images from the water drone that attacked the base of the Black Sea Fleet

The article is in Slovenian

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