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Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ‘Likely’ Lost Its Last Missile Carrier in Crimea

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet likely lost its last missile carrier in occupied Crimea, according to Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s navy.
A Ukrainian strike Sunday on the bay of Sevastopol in Crimea “likely” seriously damaged or sunk both the Russian minesweeper Kovrovets and the corvette Cyclone, or Tsiklon, Pletenchuk told Radio Svoboda, the Russian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on Monday.
The Karakurt-class corvette Tsiklon joined the Black Sea Fleet in July 2023. Pletenchuk said at the time that it failed routine tests twice—in 2021 and 2022—and that Moscow put it into operation “because they need a picture that they have launched something, revived something, replenished their fleet.”
On Monday, he said, “There is a fairly high probability that there is now not a single carrier of cruise missiles in Crimea, if the information about the Cyclone is confirmed. And yes, there is such a probability. And yes, it is high.”
He added, “Preliminarily, we are talking about the fact that, most likely, in total two units were hit. But we are still waiting for results.”
A serviceman of the Maritime Guard of the State Border Service of Ukraine adjusts his helmet during inspection of a cargo ship for prohibited items before entering a Black Sea port on December 18, 2023…. A serviceman of the Maritime Guard of the State Border Service of Ukraine adjusts his helmet during inspection of a cargo ship for prohibited items before entering a Black Sea port on December 18, 2023. Kyiv says a third of Russia’s warships in the Black Sea have been sunk or disabled since the war began. More ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images
Newsweek has contacted Russia’s Defense Ministry for comment by email.
Kyiv said a third of Russia’s warships in the Black Sea have been sunk or disabled since the Ukraine war began. Ukraine has sought to deplete President Vladimir Putin’s prized fleet as part of its efforts to reverse Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, which serves as Moscow’s central logistics hub for its forces in southern Ukraine.
Satellite images show that Russia has relocated some of its Black Sea Fleet vessels from its port in Crimea to avoid further losses following successful Ukrainian drone and cruise missile strikes.
Photos from last October showed the fleet was fleeing from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk in southern Russia as Ukraine targeted Moscow’s vessels. Ships were also heading to the Russian naval port in the city of Feodosia, which is farther east on the annexed Crimean Peninsula.
Satellite images from last month, shared by open-source intelligence researcher MT Anderson, appear to show that the Black Sea Fleet has largely abandoned its major Crimean naval bases.
Russia said last month that by the end of the year the Black Sea Fleet will receive three Karakurt-class ships “to increase the combat potential of the Navy.”
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