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Attack on Russia’s Novorossiysk oil depot near naval base shows Black Sea Fleet’s vulnerability – British Intelligence

The British Defense Ministry’s November 22 intellligence update addresses the November 18 maritime attack on an oil terminal at Russia’s Black Sea port city of Novorossiysk next to a base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) saying that “any demonstration of a Ukrainian capability to threaten Novorssiysk would highly likely represent a further strategic challenge for the BSF.

Media reports alleged a Ukrainian naval surface drone attack on the Novorossiysk oil terminal that ended in superficial damage, but Ukrainian officials didn’t comment on the issue neither refuting nor confirming the Ukrainian involvement in the attack.

The report goes as follows:

  • On 18 November 2022, multiple Russian and Ukrainian media outlets reported that an attack took place at an oil terminal in [Novorossiysk] port on Russia’s Black Sea coast. A major base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF) is close to the oil terminal.
  • The BSF relocated many of its submarine operations to [Novorossiysk] after its Sevastopol base in occupied Crimea was struck by Ukraine over the summer. Russian commanders will likely be concerned about threats to the [Novorossiysk]-based amphibious landing ship flotilla. These vessels are relatively vulnerable without escorts and have assumed a more important role in supplying Russian forces in Ukraine since the Kerch Bridge was damaged in October.
  • Full details of this incident are yet to emerge. However, any demonstration of a Ukrainian capability to threaten Novorssiysk would highly likely represent a further strategic challenge for the BSF. It would also further undermine Russia’s already reduced maritime influence in the Black Sea.

Read also:

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 249: Alleged Ukrainian naval drone attack damages at least three Russian warships

Better than Moskva: four things to know about Ukraine’s drone attack on Russian Fleet in Sevastopol

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 227: Crimean bridge on fire after an explosion


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