Ukraine Calls Ships Attacked In Sevastopol An Irreparable Loss To Russia

Ukraine has reportedly identified the vessels hit in the attack against Russia’s naval base in Crimea, claiming that these vessels are beyond any repairs.

The attack that took place early on Wednesday morning in Sevastopol, the largest city of Crimea, marks Ukraine’s so far most ambitious strike on the port since the war started and comes as Kyiv steps up the drone and missile strikes on the peninsula.

Russian Warships
Representation Image

Andrii Yusov, one of the representatives of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence, on Wednesday said that the landing vessel Minsk and the sub-Rostov-on-Don were destroyed in this attack. Both were undergoing significant repairs at that time.

Speaking to the Ukrainian media, Yusov called the destruction of the landing vessel an “irreparable loss” to Russia’s sea fleet, as he claimed that the Russians do not build such vessels anymore. He further added that the Defense Intelligence does not want to get into the details of what weapons were utilized to attack the shipyard. Still, the demilitarization of occupied Ukrainian territories is already underway.

In recent weeks, Ukraine has centred its efforts on Crimea, which was annexed by Russia unlawfully back in 2014. It is a vital logistics zone for Russia’s war effort owing to its location on the Black Sea.

Kyiv insists that the strikes on the naval bases and vessels in Crimea are a key part of the counteroffensive strategy, intended for isolating the peninsula and make it increasingly difficult for Russia to sustain its military operations on Ukraine’s mainland, a source familiar with this strategy informed the CNN.

A day following the Sevastopol attack, Ukraine conducted yet another operation, attacking two vessels during the early hours of Thursday morning. The Brussels were of the Project 22160 type in the southwestern part of the Black Sea, said a statement from Ukraine’s General Staff.

The Defense Intelligence arm posted a video of this incident, reflecting what seemed like a Russian patrol vessel coming under an attack by naval drones. The footage appears to be recorded from one of these drones as it moves toward the patrol vessel that seems to open fire as the attack ships close in.

The General Staff later on said that the strikes had caused some kind of damage.

Russia’s Defense Ministry acknowledged that one of the vessels, “Sergei Kotov,” had been attacked overnight. In repelling the attack, five enemy unmanned boats were totally destroyed by the ship’s fire, a ministry statement mentioned, even though it refrained from making references to attacks on the country’s second patrol vessel.

On Thursday, Ukraine’s forces in Yevpatoria destroyed an air defence complex of Russia in an overnight attack with cruise missiles and advanced drones. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called this operation “a triumph” in a nightly address, stating that it is a significant achievement.

The shift in focus to Crimea came after Russia permitted the Black Sea Grain deal to lapse in July 2023. The deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN in July 2022, permitted the seamless export of Ukraine’s grain – until the agreement ended, with Moscow refusing to renew the deal.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has since resumed the blockade of Ukraine’s ports, preventing grain exports and threatening worldwide food security.

There are other limitations that are at play in Europe; in May 2023, the European Commission also banned the imports of Ukraine’s agricultural products to Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia until 5 June. This measure was aimed at relaxing the logistical bottlenecks and safeguarding the local farmers from getting undercut in rates by cheaper Ukrainian grain.

In June, the EU decided to reduce the precautions related to the import of Ukraine’s products till 15 September – this Friday. On Thursday, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, said that he expects the European Commission to keep the word and lift restrictions on Ukraine’s grain exports by Friday, saying that it wouldn’t be “acceptable” to keep the ban on.

References: CNN, Albany Herald, Reuters

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