First drilling rigs, now ships: Ukraine’s second strike in the Black Sea is a serious blow for Russia.
Just a few days ago, Ukraine managed to recapture the strategically important oil rigs off Crimea. On Wednesday night there was a serious blow to the Russian navy in Sevastopol. This has unpleasant consequences for the commanders of the Russian army.
Ukraine can claim another success. In the early hours of the morning, a Russian Navy shipyard in Sevastopol was largely destroyed, as several media outlets unanimously reported.
Ukraine reports successes around the southern peninsula of Crimea
Up to ten cruise missiles are said to have been used, of which only seven could be shot down. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, maritime drones were also involved in the attack, but were reportedly intercepted.
The losses suffered by the Russian Navy in the attack are equally serious. In addition to the dry dock, two ships were also hit. As the British Ministry of Defense reports, it is said to be a landing ship and a Kilo-class submarine.
The damage to the ships was confirmed by the Russian side. “Two ships under repair suffered damage as a result of hits from enemy cruise missiles,” it said in a statement on Wednesday morning.
It’s a big blow for the Russians. Sevastopol is considered one of the most important ports of the Black Sea Fleet. The fact that the Ukrainians manage to hit such an important target with several cruise missiles does not reflect well on Russian air defense.
Second strike against the Black Sea Fleet within a few days
It is the second success of the Ukrainian armed forces in just a few days. It was only announced on Tuesday that Ukrainian special commandos had managed to recapture drilling rigs off Crimea.
The towers are considered strategically important and have been occupied by Russian units since 2015. Since the beginning of the war, the platforms have also been used for military purposes, including as helicopter landing pads and radar stations.
Ex-NATO general Erhard Bühler described the recapture of the oil rigs as a “very significant setback for the Russians” in the podcast “What to do, Mr. General?” The Russian armed forces have been deprived of the ability to control part of the Black Sea in real time. This would also have a negative impact on the Black Sea Fleet’s operations.
Ukraine threatens Russia’s dominance in the Black Sea
The Black Sea Fleet has been under pressure since shortly after the Russian attack began. The Russian flagship “Moskva” was sunk in June 2022. A few weeks ago, Ukraine also managed to severely damage a large Russian landing ship.
The Russian leadership must respond to these threats. It is forced to withdraw its ships further and further in order to put them out of range of Ukrainian drones and cruise missiles. This is significant for Ukraine because Russian ships often launch cruise missiles.
But the recent strikes by the Ukrainian armed forces show one thing above all: Ukraine is by no means leaving the Black Sea to the Russians and is forcing the occupiers to deploy more and more forces to defend it.