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UK intel: Russia improved naval infrastructure in Novorossiysk, where it relocated its ships from Sevastopol away from Ukraine’s strikes

To avoid Ukrainian sea-borne attack, Russia largely moved its Black Sea Fleet from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk, where it is improving infrastructure to support long-term basing, per UK intelligence.
UK intel: Russia improved naval infrastructure in Novorossiysk, where it relocated its ships from Sevastopol away from Ukraine’s strikes

The UK Defense Ministry reports Russia has largely withdrawn its Black Sea Fleet ships and submarines from Sevastopol in occupied Crimea to Russia’s Novorossiysk further east on the Black Sea’s eastern coast, citing a missile frigate reloading activity there on 1 April.

Since March 2024, when Russia removed the Black Sea Fleet’s commander, the fleet has been the least active since the war began. The British Defense Ministry says it is likely basing at Novorossiysk to avoid potential Ukrainian attacks while Russia improves the port’s maintenance and logistics infrastructure to support the new arrangements indefinitely.

The Ministry wrote:

  • On 01 April 2024, a Grigorovich class guided missile frigate undertook weapons handling activity at the Black Sea Fleet (BSF) facility, Novorossiysk port. Modern Russian warships such as the Grigorovich class frigate have vertical launch systems for firing cruise missiles at sea and land targets. Such missiles have historically been reloaded in Sevastopol, Crimea.
  • The BSF has largely withdrawn its ships and submarines from Sevastopol further eastwards to Novorossiysk. Since the removal of the BSF commander in March 2024, the fleet has been the least active since the war began.
  • Whilst the BSF almost certainly remains alongside Novorossiysk as its best method of avoiding Ukrainian sea-borne attack, its maintenance, logistics and weapons-handling infrastructure at Novorossiysk has highly likely been improved to support the new basing arrangements indefinitely.

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