Ukrainian ship Yuri Olefirenko

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Yuri Olefirenko (U401).jpg
Yuri Olefirenko
Naval Ensign of the Soviet Union (1950-1991).svgSoviet Navy
NameSDK 137
Laid down21 April 1970
Launched31 December 1970
Commissioned31 May 1971
FateTransferred to Ukrainian Navy in 1994
Naval Ensign of Ukraine.svgUkraine
NameYuri Olefirenko (ex-SDK Kirovohrad)
Commissioned10 January 1996
StatusIn service [1]
General characteristics
Class and type Polnocny-class landing ship
Displacement1,192 tons
Length81.3 m (266 ft 9 in)
Beam9.3 m (30 ft 6 in)
Draft2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)
Speed18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
  • 2 x 2 30 mm artillery AK-230
  • 2 x 18 140 mm launch system NURS "WM18" type [2]
  • 2 x 4 MPADS launch system Strela-3

Yuri Olefirenko (Ukrainian : Юрій Олефіренко) is a mid-size Project 773 (NATO code: Polnocny-C) landing ship of the Ukrainian Navy. From her original commissioning in 1971 until the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, she was based in the Southern Naval Base at Donuzlav. Since then Yuri Olefirenko was relocated to Ochakiv. She was reportedly captured by Russian forces during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine before being spotted still in active service on 3 June 2022. [3] [4] [1]


Construction and career

Soviet service

The ship was built at Stocznia Północna (pl) shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland in 1970 for the Soviet Navy and was numbered SDK-137. SDK is a Russian abbreviation for a mid-size landing ship (Russian : средний десантный корабль, Sredniy Desantnyi Korabl, SDK).

Although officially the Soviet Union was not involved in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, SDK 137 was part of the Soviet Mediterranean squadron that was in the area along with a marine infantry detachment loaded. The vessel's enlisted starshina 1st stage P. Grinev downed one of the Israeli F-4 Phantom planes with the ship's AK-230 artillery system and was awarded for that the Order of Red Star.

Ukrainian service

As a result of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet division between Russian Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian Navy, in 1994 SDK 137 was passed to the Ukrainian Navy and was renamed SKD Kirovohrad. In 1996 it was commissioned and given the pennant number U-401 Kirovohrad.

In 1998–2002 Kirovohrad was repaired at the Metallist Ship Repair Factory in Balaklava and once again in 2012–2013 at the Black Sea Shipyard in Mykolaiv.

At the start of the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, on 21 March 2014 Kirovohrad was surrendered to unmarked Russian naval personnel at Lake Donuzlav along with the minesweeper Chernihiv. On 19 April 2014 the Russian military returned the ship along with the Ukrainian corvette Vinnytsia.

In 2016 it was renamed again to U-401 Yuri Olefirenko in a memory of a Ukrainian marine who perished during the War in Donbass.

In April 2022 the ship was claimed by Russian media to have again been captured by Russia at the port of Berdyansk and that she may have been moved to Novorossiysk. [5] However, on 3 June 2022 Yuri Olefirenko was spotted in Ukrainian control near Ochakiv, Ukraine under fire by Russian artillery. The ship is believed to have survived the strikes and that it had not been captured at Berdyansk as previously claimed by Russian media. [1]

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on 31 May 2023 that the ship had been destroyed two days prior. [6] The Ukrainian Navy told reporters that they refuse to comment on any Russian claims and that they generally do not talk about any such losses in public. [7]

See also

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  2. Explosion on SDK Kirovohrad: who is guilty?. Flot2017. 20 September 2010
  3. "Analysis: Russian Armed Forces capture dozen Ukrainian ships in Berdyansk". Archived from the original on 15 March 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  4. "The Ukrainian Navy's Fighting Ships – The only easy day was Never". The Researchers. 27 March 2022. Archived from the original on 13 April 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
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