Espreso. Global
Review

"Pack" attack’s effectiveness: another Russian Black Sea Fleet ship Sergei Kotov sinks. Serhiy Zgurets’ column 

6 March, 2024 Wednesday
11:40

This cool attack took place last night, March 5, in the territorial waters of Ukraine near the Kerch Strait. The Russian ship was destroyed by MAGURA V5 maritime drones in cooperation with the DIU and the Ukrainian Navy

The sinking of the Russian Black Sea Fleet corvette Sergei Kotov

Allow me to begin with a story that, while already familiar to many, deserves mention. It revolves around our maritime drones' successful attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet's patrol ship Sergei Kotov. This remarkable assault occurred on March 5, within our country's territorial waters near the Kerch Strait. The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine (HUR) has confirmed the operation's success, highlighting that the ship's destruction resulted from a collaborative effort between the HUR and the Ukrainian Navy. The attack was executed using MAGURA V5 maritime drones, whose development and improvement are overseen by military intelligence.

Later, the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine released a video showing the “pack” attack. First, these maritime drones hit the port side of the ship, and then after a short time, the starboard side. The ship becomes immovable and then several more drones strike the sides, even another drone enters the hole and blows up the ship from the inside. This tactic was used before, when the large amphibious assault ship Caesar Kunikov was destroyed on February 14. This "pack" tactic also proved to be quite effective.

The HUR also demonstrated the interception of a conversation in which the commander of a brigade of ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet reports and says that a helicopter was used to repel the attack. That is, they knew that the attack would happen, but they were unable to repel it. According to the HUR, such a ship costs over $60 million. Among the losses was a K-29 helicopter that was transporting the corvette in the hangar. In terms of manpower losses, there were 7 killed, 6 wounded, and about 50 crew members were evacuated after the attack.

This corvette is one of the newest ships of this project, it was put in use with the Russian Black Sea Fleet in 2022. We can say that there were 4 such ships, and now there are 3 left.

What conclusion can we draw? The Ukrainian Armed Forces have been regularly destroying Russian Black Sea Fleet ships since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. In total, about 15 ships have been destroyed or damaged by missiles, but most of them have been destroyed by naval drones. This strategy not only demonstrates an effective tactic of displacing the enemy but also played a crucial role in the establishment of the grain corridor. We expect more to come, as the enemy still has enough targets for our naval drones.

The situation at the front

The front line is currently facing extreme challenges, with 74 clashes reported, indicating intense combat activity. The most critical situations are unfolding in the Novopavlivka direction and in the area west of Avdiivka. According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 28 attacks have been repelled near the settlements of Berdychi, Tonenke, Pervomaiske, and Nevelske. The situation in each of these areas is notably severe.

Oleksandr Shyrshyn, the deputy battalion commander of the 47th Brigade, described the recent days as particularly challenging, as Russia has been aggressively attempting to conduct assault offensives on a daily basis. Initially, the Russian forces deployed a significant amount of equipment and infantry towards Ukrainian combat formations. These attempts were met with strong resistance, resulting in the destruction of the enemy infantry along with their equipment, thanks to the effective use of Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and FPV drones. Observing the loss of much of their equipment, left abandoned in the fields, Russian soldiers have now slightly altered their approach. Instead of large-scale assaults, they are conducting smaller infantry offensives, about 5-7 times a day, indicating a high intensity of combat activity.

The deputy battalion commander of the 47th Brigade noted that the Ukrainian Armed Forces almost fully control Berdychi. Russian forces have established themselves in the first 5-6 buildings of the town, but Ukrainian forces control the remaining area, maintaining their positions. This scenario mirrors the situation in Stepove, where defenders held out for 4 months. The composition of the Russian forces remains the same, although some brigades have been reconstituted once or twice. Captured Russian soldiers report that their ranks are replenished with new recruits every few days, who are then quickly sent into assault operations.

The soldier mentioned that his brigade utilizes all available armored vehicles. Despite the high quality of the equipment, losses are inevitable in war. Thanks to the courage of their crews, who often engage directly and sometimes cross the contact line, they succeed in disrupting enemy formations. Currently, there's a noticeable reduction in Russia’s use of KAB bombs, yet they remain active. Russian troops haven't introduced any novel tactics lately. In Stepove they were employing chemical agents, these tactics have not been documented in Berdychi so far.

Shyrshyn highlighted that there is truth in the criticisms regarding unequipped positions. While certain areas have been equipped with trenches or specific positions dug by excavators, there remains work for personnel to further fortify these positions. Unfortunately, this essential work is not progressing as desired. The reasons for this can be discussed, but it's crucial to recognize that wartime demands extraordinary efforts, including physical labor such as digging trenches. For those in the rear who demand explanations on the absence of a second line of defense, you can volunteer and form a team to assist in trench-digging while the military holds the front line. Given that some soldiers are actively engaged in combat operations, fortification efforts during active fighting pose challenges. However, the brigades currently in the rear can undertake these fortification tasks.

Concluding the conversation with Oleksandr Shyrshyn, I would like to say that his brigade is currently holding the line west of Avdiivka near Berdychi. This is the area where Russian troops are trying to push our defense along the entire line. However, we see that in this area, where the 47th Brigade is stationed, Russia is not succeeding and suffering losses. Although, we should recognize that this defense is based on the courage of those soldiers and officers, one of whom we talked to today.

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Tuesday
23 April
22:10
Review
Victorious news of 790th day of war: trucks full of wounded Russian soldiers in Mariupol, largest military aid package from Britain
21:49
NATO works on long-term financial support for Ukraine — Stoltenberg
21:35
Ukrainian army repels 59 Russian attacks over last day - General Staff
21:14
Ukrainians thank Slovak people for supporting ammunition fundraising after government refuses to join Czech initiative
20:50
Exclusive
Russia deploys large amount of equipment, personnel to Chasiv Yar - Ukrainian major
20:26
Exclusive
Defense Express explains what presidential drawdown authority is, allowing US to send aid to Ukraine
20:05
Denmark to provide €380mln to Ukraine for critical infrastructure using renewable energy
19:42
Debris clearance continues at Dnipro Hydroelectric Station, no prospect of restoring power sections now - official
19:20
UK sends largest batch of firefighting equipment to Ukraine since 2022
18:57
Defense contracts worth UAH 582 billion finalized, half with Ukrainian manufacturers
18:35
Disinformation threat from Russia, China, Iran exists in European Parliament elections - Metsola
18:13
Exclusive
Insights from 59th brigade officer on situation in Krasnohorivka - Netaylove sector
17:50
Russia attacks Dnipropetrovsk region with missiles, injuring 4 civilians
17:30
Exclusive
Where Russia will attack in near future: Ukrainian colonel suggests
17:08
Ukraine's defensive efforts amidst new Russian threats – NYT
16:45
OPINION
Beijing doesn't believe in Russia's victory over Ukraine
16:23
Russia intensifies construction of fortifications in Crimea due to approval of US aid to Ukraine
16:04
Lithuania hands over new batch of M577 armored vehicles to Ukraine
15:46
British missiles to boost Ukraine's arsenal: what are they?
15:20
Russian army drops bomb on Kostyantynivka in morning, injuring 5 people 
15:01
Largest military aid, Russian assets, peace summit: Zelenskyy speaks with British Prime Minister Sunak
14:40
Exclusive
Following US decision to aid Ukraine, Europe feels like it's their war - former MP Hopko
14:20
Poland is unable to provide Ukraine with Patriot, but will help with other weapons – Tusk
14:00
Ukraine may receive first US package of weapons in April — Ambassador Markarova
13:38
Russia uses new tactics of drone attacks on Ukrainian cities
13:20
OPINION
Lavrov is waving the nuclear baton again. Vitaliy Portnykov's column
13:01
Exclusive
"Three Ural trucks with heavily wounded taken to Novoazovsk": Mariupol official shares details of explosion
12:38
Switzerland freezes over $14 billion of Russian assets
12:15
Review
U.S. should present strategy for Ukraine's victory over Russia. Column by Serhiy Zgurets
11:57
Exclusive
Ukrainian Armed Forces launch first stage of Crimea de-occupation operation – military expert Sniehyrov
11:42
Children injured in Odesa due to Russian drone attack, man wounded in Mykolaiv region
11:23
German government urges US to provide Ukraine with another Patriot system - Bloomberg
10:35
Russia loses air defense systems, 29 artillery systems and 800 soldiers — Ukraine's General Staff 
10:21
$350 million is needed to restore Ukrainian power plants - DTEK director Sakharuk
09:55
Exclusive
Russian troops are actively advancing from Avdiivka to Pokrovsk - Druzhkivka council deputy Dovbnya
09:33
Boats, armored vehicles, air defense, missiles, ammunition: Britain announces largest ever military aid package to Ukraine
2024, Monday
22 April
22:00
Review
Victorious news of 789th day of war: Denmark to send F-16 to Ukraine in summer, Ukrainian forces destroy over 600 drones
21:45
Ukrainian forces repel 53 Russian attacks over day, most in Lyman sector
21:30
Borrell tells when Ukraine may receive first shells under Czech initiative
21:10
Zelenskyy explains why he doesn't believe in 'Olympic truce'
More news