Attacks on Russian Black Sea Fleet: British Intelligence assesses Russia's ability to further block Ukrainian ports
After a series of Ukrainian attacks on the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Russia's ability to further blockade Ukraine's ports is likely to decrease
This is stated in a report by the UK Ministry of Defence.
"The Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) has suffered a series of major attacks in recent weeks, culminating in strikes on its headquarters on 20 and 22 September 2023. These attacks have been more damaging and more coordinated than thus far in the war. The physical damage to the BSF is almost certainly severe but localised," the report said.
It is noted that the Russian Navy has not lost its ability to launch cruise missile strikes and patrol the area. However, according to British intelligence, the ability of the Russians to conduct wider regional security patrols and enforce its de facto blockade of Ukrainian ports will be diminished. In addition, Russia's ability to conduct routine maintenance and defend its assets in the ports has likely degraded.
"A dynamic, deep strike battle is underway in the Black Sea. This is likely forcing Russia into a reactive posture whilst demonstrating that Ukraine's military can undermine the Kremlin's symbolic and strategic power projection from its warm water port in occupied Sevastopol," the British intelligence added.
Ukraine’s strikes on the Russian Black Sea Fleet: what is known
In September, attempts to destroy the Russian Black Sea Fleet gained momentum. On September 3, the Ukrainian military eliminated the occupiers' boat Tuna in the Black Sea during an attempt to land a Russian landing, killing six Russian occupiers.
Another successful hunt by Ukrainian fighters for Russian invaders at sea was a strike on the Sevastopol shipyard in temporarily occupied Crimea on September 13. Satellite imagery showed that cruise missiles, presumably Storm Shadow, hit the large landing ship Minsk and, more importantly, hit the Rostov-na-Donu diesel submarine. It should be noted that an air attack on a Russian submarine is a rare operation in the history of warfare. The Special Forces officers described the details of the operation and the destruction of two Russian vessels.
On September 14, the SBU and the Navy carried out a special operation in Yevpatoria and attacked the Russian air defense system Triumph.
On September 20, the Ukrainian Armed Forces successfully attacked the command post of the Russian Black Sea Fleet near the temporarily occupied Sevastopol.
On September 22, as a result of the successful work of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the temporarily occupied Sevastopol was hit. The missile hit there during a leadership meeting.
It is noted that as a result of the special operation, there are dozens of dead and wounded among the occupiers, including the senior leadership of the fleet.