Another (yet another) severe blow to the Russian fleet

At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of Kiev’s major fears was that Russia, leveraging its maritime superiority, could conduct an amphibious operation to land near Odessa, taking Ukrainian defensive lines by surprise.

Whether this fear was justified or not, we’ll never know, but it was certainly a possibility considered by Western analysts as well. Since then, the situation in the Black Sea has profoundly changed, with the Russian Navy forced on the defensive after suffering significant losses from a country, Ukraine, which effectively doesn’t even have a military navy.

The latest chapter unfolded last night when, in a successful attack on the Sebastopol base in occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian Air Force, likely using Storm Shadow cruise missiles launched from one or more Suhoi Su-24s, struck a command and communications center of the Black Sea Fleet and two ships of the Russian fleet, specifically two Ropucha-class landing ships, the Yamal and the Azov.

The extent of the damage is not yet known, but certainly, the two vessels are out of action for a long period (if not completely destroyed), further reducing the offensive capabilities of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

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