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Ukrainian Attacks Force Russian Black Sea Fleet To Relocate Warships From Crimea

Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet has been compelled to rebase nearly all warships from occupied Crimea to other locations. Due to Ukrainian missile and naval drone strikes, according to Ukraine’s navy chief, Vice-Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa. The Sevastopol base, a critical logistics hub for repairs, maintenance, training, and ammunition storage, has suffered significant damage. Ukrainian Offensive […]

Ukrainian Attacks Force Russian Black Sea Fleet To Relocate Warships From Crimea
Ukrainian Attacks Force Russian Black Sea Fleet To Relocate Warships From Crimea

Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet has been compelled to rebase nearly all warships from occupied Crimea to other locations. Due to Ukrainian missile and naval drone strikes, according to Ukraine’s navy chief, Vice-Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa. The Sevastopol base, a critical logistics hub for repairs, maintenance, training, and ammunition storage, has suffered significant damage.

Ukrainian Offensive Strategy

Ukraine has effectively utilized uncrewed naval boats packed with explosives and launched targeted missile strikes, including Storm Shadow and ATACM missiles, against Russian vessels and facilities in Crimea. “Almost all the main combat-ready ships have been moved by the enemy from the main base of the Black Sea Fleet, and the ships are kept in Novorossiisk, and some of them are kept in the Sea of Azov,” Neizhpapa stated.

Impact on Russian Naval Operations

The Novorossiisk naval base on Russia’s eastern Black Sea coast lacks the extensive facilities of Sevastopol. This relocation has posed a significant logistical challenge for Russia, particularly in maintaining the operational readiness of its naval fleet. Russia’s defense ministry did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment on Neizhpapa’s remarks.

Ukraine’s Strategic Gains

Ukraine’s operations in the Black Sea have enabled the establishment and security of its own shipping corridor, independent of Russia’s control. This move followed Moscow’s withdrawal from the UN-brokered wartime food export deal last year. The destruction of the Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, in April 2022 marked a significant victory for Ukraine’s coastal defenses.

Future Military Plans and Support

Vice-Admiral Neizhpapa highlighted that the anticipated delivery of U.S.-made F-16 fighter aircraft would significantly bolster Ukraine’s defensive capabilities. “F-16s with the right armaments will be able to push away Russian warplanes. The northwestern part of the Black Sea, particularly the corridor for civilian ships, will be almost 100% secure,” he said.

Ongoing Naval Operations

Ukraine’s naval efforts have led to a shift in the Black Sea Fleet’s role, now primarily focused on logistics, coastal territorial control, and launching Kalibr cruise missiles at Ukraine. The monitoring data showed that as of June 27, 10 Russian warships were stationed in the Sea of Azov, compared to none in 2023.

Expanded Shipping Corridor

While Ukraine aims to expand its shipping corridor to include the ports of Mykolaiv and Kherson, it remains constrained by Russia’s control over the Kinburn Spit. Civilian vessels are accompanied by patrol boats in some areas for protection against mines, with air defenses providing cover to both ports and corridors. The volume of cargo through the corridor has stabilized over the last six months, with Ukraine now operating two daily convoys of vessels, compared to one in 2023.

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