Humiliated Putin ‘downplaying Crimea attack’ as Ukraine destroys key weapons
The Russian Ministry of Defence has attempted to downplay Ukraine’s recent missile strikes on the shipyard of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.
The latest UK defence intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine reports that the ship and submarine hit in the strikes have been severely damaged, with the landing ship Minsk “functionally destroyed”.
The attack on the Sevastopol Shipyard on Wednesday (September 13) appeared to be one of the more serious attacks in recent weeks.
According to Russia’s Defence Ministry, Ukraine launched an attack on the shipyard with 10 cruise missiles and deployed three naval drones against Russian boats in the Black Sea.
Russia values the Sevastopol Shipyard strategically since it serves as a maintenance centre for its Black Sea navy.
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The Ministry of Defence reported: “In the early hours of 13 September 2023, multiple missiles struck the Sevmorzavod shipyard within Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF) Sevastopol naval base.
“The landing ship Minsk and Kilo 636.3 class submarine Rostov-na-Donu were hit while undergoing maintenance in dry docks.
“Despite the Russian Ministry of Defence downplaying the damage to the vessels, open-source evidence indicates the Minsk has almost certainly been functionally destroyed, while the Rostov has likely suffered catastrophic damage.
“Any effort to return the submarine to service is likely to take many years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
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“There is a realistic possibility that the complex task of removing the wreckage from the dry docks will place them out of use for many months. This would present the BSF with a significant challenge in sustaining fleet maintenance.
“The loss of the Rostov removes one of the BSF’s four cruise-missile capable submarines which have played a major role in striking Ukraine and projecting Russian power across the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean.”
The fire that resulted from the attack injured 24 people, according to Mikhail Razvozhayev, the governor of Sevastopol nominated by Moscow.
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He posted a snapshot of the shipyard engulfed in flames, with smoke billowing into the air.
A senior Ukrainian official shared a photo of the burned port on social media, describing the attack as a “professional and meaningful statement” in their efforts to preserve an important maritime route for grain transport to Asia and Africa.
According to Ukrainian military intelligence sources, as reported by Ukraine’s RBC-Ukraine news outlet, an amphibious landing ship and a submarine sustained damage during the attack. This information was also echoed in several Russian messaging app channels.
In response, the Russian Defense Ministry has stated that the Russian warships affected at the Sevastopol shipyard will undergo complete repairs and eventually resume their naval service.
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