Friday, May 24, 2024
HomeCruiseCrimea Satellite Images Show Most of Russian Black Sea Fleet Left Peninsula

Crimea Satellite Images Show Most of Russian Black Sea Fleet Left Peninsula

Russia’s beleaguered Black Sea Fleet appears to have largely abandoned its major Crimean naval bases under the pressure of regular Ukrainian drone, missile, and commando attacks, recent satellite images suggest.
Open source intelligence (OSINT) researcher MT Anderson posted Planet Labs images to X, formerly known as Twitter, taken on April 6 and showing three key Russian naval bases in the Black Sea—Sevastopol and Feodosia in Crimea, and Novorossiysk in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai region.
🇷🇺BLACK SEA FLEET🇷🇺
0.5m📷 (6 April 2024) of Novorossiysk, Feodosia & Sevastopol.
Good view of where 🇷🇺Navy are positioning their vessels⬇️
Novorossiysk: primary warships, subs & assault ships
Sevastopol: small missiles boats, AS ships, Minesweepers
Feodosia: nothing pic.twitter.com/44vpLSQ5kO — MT Anderson (@MT_Anderson) April 9, 2024
The images appear to confirm past reports that the Black Sea Fleet has pulled its most-valuable assets out of Crimean ports and into Russian territorial waters, following repeated successful Ukrainian strikes using drones and cruise missiles.
The Black Sea Fleet’s home port of Sevastopol, for example, now appears home to several small missile boats, minesweepers, and anti-submarine vessels. Among the most significant identified there this week are two Tarantul-class corvettes and two Krivak-class frigates.
Newsweek cannot independently verify the images and has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry by email to request comment. However, the photographs appear to underscore Russia’s inability to secure the Black Sea, despite overwhelming conventional naval superiority.
“It’s good news,” Ivan Stupak—a former officer in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and now an adviser to the Ukrainian parliament’s national security, defense and intelligence committee—told Newsweek. “Crimea is no longer a safe haven for the Russian navy.”
Sevastopol has traditionally served as Russia’s primary power projection center for the Black Sea region. It is home to the Black Sea Fleet headquarters building—which was destroyed by a cruise-missile strike in September 2023—and important dry dock facilities, which were also destroyed by cruise missiles along with an attack submarine and landing ship that same month.
The Crimean port of Feodosia around 100 miles east of Sevastopol has also been the subject of attacks. Ukraine claimed to have sunk one landing ship there in December 2023 using cruise missiles. The most-recent satellite images suggest there are no Russian warships of note currently at Feodosia.
Most of Russia’s key naval assets have reportedly fled to Novorossiysk. More than 100 miles further east of Feodosia and in Russian waters, attacking the port is more difficult for Ukrainian forces, though they did manage to do so with success in August 2023.
Most of the Black Sea Fleet’s surviving primary warships and submarines appear to have gathered there. Among them are three Kilo-class submarines and one Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate—possibly the Makarov, which took over the role as the fleet’s flagship following the sinking of the Moskva by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles in April 2022.
“They’ve focused all of their battle vessels in Novorossiysk,” Ukrainian navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk told journalists during a Ukraine Media Center briefing on Wednesday. “The only vessels remaining in Crimea are those that are being repaired—at least 15 of them—or those they they don’t have the opportunity to bring to other bases.”
Person looks at a poster depicting Russian warships sunk after Ukrainian attacks in the Black Sea on March 16, 2024 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been badly mauled in just over two… Person looks at a poster depicting Russian warships sunk after Ukrainian attacks in the Black Sea on March 16, 2024 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been badly mauled in just over two years of full-scale war. More Oleksii Chumachenko/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Translate »
×