Thursday, September 14, 2023

Ukraine: Strikes Crimean Naval dockyard , destroying Russian Submarine and Landing ship

(Sevastopol)  Early Wednesday morning (14/09/23) the Ukraine struck 2 naval targets - Rostov-on-don a Kilo type Submarine and the Minsk a Project775 Ropucha-class large landing ship. The targeting was somewhat easy as both were in dry dock undergoing maintenance  for the Rostov-on-don and repairs for the Minsk after it had been damaged by an earlier Ukrainian attack on the 3rd of August 2023  and so the Ukrainians knew exactly where they were.

The loss of both ships and the blockage of two major drydocks until both wrecks are cleared will impact on the Russian Navy’s ability to conduct offensive operations for a while.

The loss of the Kilo Submarine will be the largest loss as it is the major launch vehicle for the Kalibr cruise missiles which it has been doing with impunity since the war started in Feb 2022. The Russians started with 2 kilo class submarines in the Black Sea, with usually 1 at sea and the other 1 in dock. The loss of 1 will now impact Moscow ability to launch missiles, not only that but due to Kyiv’s lethal strikes on the Russian fleet in and around Crimea, and after the sinking of the Moskva April 2022 by the use of Anti-Ship missiles, Moscow has relocated most of its Black Sea fleet to the port of Novorossiysk as far away from Ukraine as possible in which to keep them out of harm’s way. That said, the Captain of Krasnodar the other Kilo class submarine in the Black Sea, was gunned down and killed on the 10th of July 2023 apparently in revenge for the missile launched by his submarine on the Ukrainian city of  Vinnytsia in July 2022 of which killed 27 civilians, including three children.

The loss of the Minsk landing ship, may not be felt now, but if the Ukraine manage to take out the Kursk bridge, then its loss will be felt. Also if the Ukrainian army makes progress in its march towards the sea, it would also allow the Russians to quickly redeploy troops from the sea, but that is something of a guess seeing as of the 6 Project 775 Ropucha-class large landing ships Moscow had in the Black sea at the start of its invasion of Ukraine in Feb 22,1  (Minsk) has been destroyed and another 3 are currently undergoing repairs after been badly damaged by Ukrainian attacks . Meaning the Russians understand only too well how these ships are vulnerable and as we have seen, they have become somewhat adverse to putting them in harms way.