Most of Russia's Black Sea Fleet is reportedly being moved from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk – UK intelligence
After Ukraine's strikes on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the temporarily occupied Sevastopol, the invaders began to relocate most of the fleet from Crimea to Russia
This information is outlined in a report from the Ministry of Defenсe of the United Kingdom.
The report highlights that in recent weeks, the Russian Black Sea Fleet's naval aviation has assumed a crucial role in addressing concurrent threats along the southern front of the conflict in Ukraine.
British intelligence underscores that naval aviation is primarily focused on maritime air patrol missions, primarily aimed at early detection of unmanned surface vessels.
According to the British Ministry of Defenсe, a key asset in these operations is the Be-12 MAIL amphibious aircraft, which dates back to the 1950s and operates from bases in Crimea, which is currently under Russian control. Additionally, Su-24 warplanes are conducting maritime strike operations, including at least one recent airstrike on the strategically significant Zmiinyi Island.
British intelligence suggests that considering the threats to Sevastopol, it is likely that a larger portion of naval forces will be redeployed to Novorossiysk, as Russia seeks to utilize naval aviation to extend its presence across the northwestern region of the Black Sea.
What's known about the attacks on the Russian Black Sea Fleet by the Ukrainian Armed Forces
In September, attempts to destroy the Russian Black Sea Fleet gained momentum. On September 3, the Ukrainian military eliminated the Russian invaders' boat Tuna in the Black Sea during an attempt to land an enemy landing party, killing six Russian occupiers.
Another successful attack happened on September 13 when Ukrainian fighters launched a missile strike on the Sevastopol shipyard in Crimea, which is currently under Russian control. Satellite images confirmed that the missiles, likely Storm Shadow missiles, hit the large amphibious assault ship Minsk and a diesel submarine of the Varshavyanka Rostov-on-Don project. Attacking an enemy submarine from the air is quite rare in military history. Special forces shared some details about the operation and the destruction of two Russian ships.
On September 14, in Yevpatoria, Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) and the Navy carried out a special operation to target the Russian air defense system known as "Triumf."
On September 20, the Ukrainian Armed Forces successfully attacked the command post of the Russian Black Sea Fleet near the Russian-occupied Sevastopol.
On September 22, thanks to the Special Operations Forces of Ukraine, they managed to hit the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol during a management meeting. This operation was named "Crab Trap" and resulted in dozens of casualties among the Russian occupiers, including high-ranking officers.
Later, there was information suggesting that 34 officers, including Fleet Commander Viktor Sokolov, were eliminated after the attack on the Black Sea Fleet's headquarters in Sevastopol. However, the Russian MoD released a video allegedly featuring Sokolov at a meeting. Ukraine's Special Operations Forces stated they were verifying the information about the fleet commander's fate.
According to the ATESH movement, the pseudo-administration of Sevastopol is trying to influence public opinion by spreading rumors about Viktor Sokolov, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, possibly being involved in treason.