ua en ru

Russia loses naval center in Crimea - Ukrainian Navy Commander

Russia loses naval center in Crimea - Ukrainian Navy Commander Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Vice Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa (Photo: Getty Images)

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has been forced to relocate almost all of its operational ships from occupied Crimea to other locations, rendering its main naval center ineffective due to attacks from Kyiv, the Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Vice Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, stated.

Neizhpapa said that Ukrainian missile and drone strikes have severely damaged the base in Sevastopol, which serves as a logistical center for repairs, maintenance, training, and ammunition storage, among other essential functions for Russia.

"They were established over many decades, possibly centuries. And clearly they are now losing this hub," Neizhpapa said in an interview in Odesa on Sunday, the eve of Ukrainian Navy Day.

Ships relocated to Novorossiysk

Ukraine, which does not have large military ships at its disposal, has used explosive-laden unmanned military boats to attack Russian vessels and has struck fleet facilities and other military targets in Crimea using Storm Shadow and ATACM missiles.

"Almost all the main combat-ready ships have been moved by the enemy from the main base of the Black Sea Fleet, and the ships are kept in Novorossiisk, and some of them are kept in the Sea of Azov," he said.

According to him, the Russian naval base in Novorossiysk on the eastern coast of the Black Sea does not have facilities like those in Sevastopol, Crimea, which served as a storage and loading site for cruise missiles used by military ships for airstrikes on Ukraine.

"I understand that they are now trying to solve this problem in Novorossiisk," he said, calling it a "main issue" for the fleet.

Neizhpapa reported that Ukraine has destroyed or damaged 27 military ships, including five that were lost due to mines laid by Ukrainian naval drones near Sevastopol Bay.

As a sign of strengthening defensive positions, he said some Russian military ships, which rarely entered the Sea of Azov east of Crimea, are now there regularly.

According to him, the Black Sea Fleet is currently mainly used for logistics, control over a small part of the coastal area, and launching Kalibr cruise missiles at Ukraine.

Problems with the Russian fleet

Previously, British intelligence reported that after a series of significant losses of Russian ships in the Black Sea, new commanders of the Black Sea Fleet and the Russian Navy were appointed.

The Russian military is now looking for ways to maintain the fleet in the Black Sea. Ship operations are limited, but drone defenses have been strengthened.

According to British intelligence, the use of camouflage methods for Russian warships in the Black Sea is unlikely to lead to the desired results and will not reduce fleet losses.