Even though the new Ukrainian drone attacks on the Russian naval base in Sevastopol (occupied Crimea) likely failed to damage any military assets, the threat continues to constrain operations of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, British Intelligence reported in its daily update on the Russo-Ukrainian war.
On 22 March 2023, at least three uncrewed surface vessels (USV) and one uncrewed aerial vehicle reportedly attempted to strike the Russian naval base of Sevastopol, in occupied Crimea, according to British Intelligence.
Open-source reports suggest that one USV was stopped by defensive booms, while two were destroyed in the harbor. Russian officials said that no Russian vessels had been damaged.
Ukrainian marine drones had already attacked Russian warships in Sevastopol in the autumn of 2022. A previous USV attack on Sevastopol on 29 October 2022 reportedly damaged two Russian warships, namely the minesweeper Ivan Golubets and the frigate Admiral Makarov.
Russia actively employs its Black Sea Fleet to launch cruise missiles against Ukrainian cities. Although Ukraine has no Navy, Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet cruiser Moskva with Ukrainian-made anti-ship missiles Neptune in April 2022.
- Ukraine allegedly attempted naval drone attack on Crimea’s Sevastopol, which Russians say they repelled
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- Attack on Russia’s Novorossiysk oil depot near naval base shows Black Sea Fleet’s vulnerability – British Intelligence
- Ukraine to liberate Crimea by end of August 2023 – Ben Hodges