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British intel: Russia’s battered Black Sea Fleet still a threat to Ukraine

A series of Ukrainian attacks severely damaged Black Sea Fleet and hindered Russia’s blockade capabilities. However, the fleet remains capable of missile strikes that continue to pose a threat to Ukraine, as per UK intel.
Russian black sea fleet HQ in occupied Crimea
Russian Black Sea fleet HQ in occupied Sevastopol after a missile strike. Photo: telegram Крым реалии
British intel: Russia’s battered Black Sea Fleet still a threat to Ukraine

Ukraine’s attacks on Russia-occupied Crimea, made on 20 and 22 September, severely damaged Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF), the UK Defense Ministry reported in its intelligence update.

Though BSF’s ability to continue its blockade of Ukrainian ports reduced, the fleet remains capable of missile strikes, and patrols.

In its 26 September intelligence update, the British Defense Ministry revealed:

  • “The Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) has suffered a series of major attacks in recent weeks, culminating in strikes on its headquarters on 20 and 22 September 2023. These attacks have been more damaging and more coordinated than thus far in the war.
  • The physical damage to the BSF is almost certainly severe but localised. The fleet almost certainly remains capable of fulfilling its core wartime Missions of cruise missile strikes and local security patrols. It is, however, likely that its ability to continue wider regional security patrols and enforce its de facto blockade of Ukrainian ports will be diminished. It also likely has a degraded ability to defend its assets in port and to conduct routine maintenance.
  • A dynamic, deep strike battle is underway in the Black Sea. This is likely forcing Russia into a reactive posture whilst demonstrating that Ukraine’s military can undermine the Kremlin’s symbolic and strategic power projection from its warm water port in occupied Sevastopol.”

On 20 September, Ukraine’s Armed Forces successfully attacked the Russian Black Sea Fleet command post near Sevastopol in occupied Crimea (southern Ukraine).

Later on 20 September, Radio Liberty released satellite images showing the aftermath of the Ukrainian attack on the command post of the Russian Black Sea Fleet near the village of Verkhniosadove in occupied Crimea.

Early on 21 September, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Ukrainian Navy conducted a fire attack on the Saky military airfield in occupied Crimea using one-way attack drones and domestic cruise missiles.

Russian telegram channels confirm serious destruction and losses, mentioning at least 30 military killed in the attack, according to a Crimea situation monitoring Telegram channel Krymskiy Veter.

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