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ISW: Ukrainian naval strikes disrupt Russian logistics amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive

Ukrainian naval strikes are likely part of a deliberate interdiction campaign aimed at setting favorable conditions for larger counteroffensive operations, ISW said.
Ukrainian naval drones. Credit: U24
ISW: Ukrainian naval strikes disrupt Russian logistics amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive

On the night of 3 August, a Ukrainian naval drone struck the Russian Olenegorsky Gornyak Ropucha-class landing ship.

The Olenegorsky Gornyak is typically assigned to Russia’s Northern Fleet but has lately been ferrying military and civilian traffic between Russia and occupied Crimea following traffic disruptions to the Kerch Strait Bridge caused by previous Ukrainian strikes, ISW reported, citing UK intelligence.

Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Representative Andriy Yusov stated on 5 August that the damage to the Olenegorsky Gornyak is significant and suggested that the ship will not be operational for some time.

Frontline report: Ukrainian drone blitz shatters Russian Black Sea fleet

Previous Ukrainian interdiction efforts have mainly focused on Russian military targets on land, but it seems that Ukrainian forces are now expanding their efforts to include naval targets as part of these efforts. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly stated their commitment to a deliberate interdiction campaign against Russian military targets in order to degrade Russian logistics and defensive capabilities to set favorable conditions for future Ukrainian counteroffensive activity, the Institute for the Study of War said in its daily report.

The UK Ministry of Defense (UK MoD) reported that images of the ship show it listing at 30 to 40 degrees, which suggests either that the drone strike breached several watertight compartments or that the crew’s efforts to control the damage were ineffective.

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