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One Massive Attack: Ukrainian Missiles Hit Four Russian Ships, Three Landing Vessels


Amid the ongoing conflict in Crimea, Ukrainian missiles were reportedly fired towards the anchorage of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. The Russian warships avoided any direct hits during the attack.

According to recent updates from Ukrainian authorities, a raid occurred on Sunday, aimed explicitly at four Russian ships. 

The raid reportedly utilised a mix of air-launched Storm Shadow, SCALP-EG cruise missiles, and ground-launched Neptunes.

According to reports, the damaged vessels include two operational Ropucha-class landing ships named Yamal and Azov, and an inactive Ropucha called Kostiantyn Olshansky, which Russia took from Ukraine during the Crimea invasion in 2014. Tragically, another victim has emerged from the chaos of battle: the intelligence vessel known as Ivan Hurs. After successfully withstanding an attack from Ukrainian drone boats less than a year ago, this ship has unfortunately fallen victim once again, marking the fourth incident of its kind.

After analysing satellite imagery taken after the raid, it is evident that several vessels in Sevastopol have sustained damage. Nevertheless, there is no definitive proof of any vessels capsizing. According to reports, the four ships that the Ukrainians reportedly struck in Sevastopol's repair yard have the potential to be repaired.

Following the raid, the Black Sea Fleet temporarily decreased its pre-war force of landing ships, with approximately 15% of the fleet affected. A year ago, the Russian garrison stationed in southern Ukraine encountered a major obstacle: It heavily depended on sea routes to transport ammunition to its regiments and brigades on the front lines. The situation presented a possible issue for the Kremlin.

A new railway connecting Rostov in southern Russia to Mariupol in occupied south Ukraine has been constructed by Russian engineers, marking a significant development. A new railway has been established to support Russia's troops stationed along Ukraine's southern front, reducing the need for large-scale sea shipments. Regarding disruption, railroads present a more significant challenge than ships due to their straightforward repair process.

Strikes on Russian landing ships have reportedly had a reduced impact on Moscow's war effort in recent times. In the event of having to choose between destroying or damaging Russian ships, the Ukrainians would probably choose the former option.

During the two years, the Ukrainians effectively turned off eight naval vessels, consisting of seven Ropuchas and one Tapir-class landing vessel. The remarkable achievements were made possible by employing a strategic combination of missiles and drone boats equipped with explosive weaponry. Left in their path is a trail of devastation, remnants of the once mighty arsenal of The Black Sea Fleet. Several naval vessels have been reported as casualties, including a cruiser, a submarine, a supply vessel, multiple patrol boats, and two missile corvettes. In addition, a spy ship shows the marks of the incident.

Projections suggest that the Black Sea Fleet could encounter notable operational challenges in the next 18 months to two years. The Russian Navy is currently grappling with a significant challenge in its efforts to halt the gradual decline of the Black Sea Fleet. One major obstacle is the inability to bolster the fleet with larger vessels.

To reach the Black Sea, larger vessels that cannot be transported by land or river must navigate through the Bosporus Strait. During periods of conflict, Turkey maintains authority over the strait and prevents combatants from passing through.

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