Ukrainian Missiles Destroy Russian Stealth Sub And Landing Ship In Crimea

The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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ANALYSIS – With its counteroffensive in the east slowed by heavy Russian fortifications, is striking deep into Russian-held territories with . It is paying especially close attention to the strategic Crimean peninsula in the south occupied by in 2014.

On Wednesday, it struck the 's headquarters in Sevastopol, the capital of , causing significant damage.

Based on multiple reports and satellite imagery, the Ukrainian missile attack likely destroyed a Ropucha-Class Russian landing ship and a Kilo-class submarine that were being repaired in dry dock at the port, as well as other port facilities. (RELATED: Ukrainian Drones Bring ‘War Back' To Moscow)

The missiles used by Ukraine have yet to be confirmed but could be British Storm Shadow or SCALP-EG cruise missiles launched by Ukrainian fighter bombers.

David Axe at Forbes noted that: “Ukrainian forces already had cleared a path for the missiles by blowing up, with a modified navy anti-ship missile, the Russian air force's long-range S-400 air-defense battery in western Crimea – and by sending commandos to dismantle Russian sensors on a pair of captured Ukrainian oil platforms in the waters west of Crimea.”

The Russian sub destroyed in this latest strike carried Kalibr cruise missiles and had attacked Ukraine numerous times. Taking it out was a huge victory.

Meanwhile, as Naval News reported:

The landing ship is important as a logistic asset. These ships have moved from their traditional amphibious landing role to a mundane, yet crucial, transport one. Its sister ship, Olenegorsky Gornyak, has already been taken out of action on August 3 by a USV attack. Russia can ill afford to lose too many of these ships.

Ukrainian Military Intelligence (GUR) described the two Russian warships as “unrecoverable.” That is a big win for Ukraine and a blow to the Kremlin, but damage to the port and dry dock may be even more militarily significant.

As the Institute for the Study of War concluded in its most recent campaign update: “Any damage to one of the Russian Black Sea Fleet's main repair facilities in occupied Crimea will likely have reverberating impacts in the event of further Ukrainian strikes on Russian naval assets.” (RELATED: Musk Blocked Starlink To Thwart Ukrainian Sea Drone Attack On Russian Fleet)

Defense writer Stavros Atlamazoglou noted in 19fortyfive that:

Damage to the two vessels in the dry dock will make the facility inoperable for some time as the Russian Navy would have to first clear any debris before it can repair any damages. Considering the size and weight of the warships involved and the risk of potential follow-up Ukrainian attacks on the port facilities, it is very likely that the Russian Navy won't be able to use the dry dock anytime soon.

Naval News also noted that:

Simultaneously with the cruise missile strike there was an attack by Ukrainian USVs (maritime drones). It is likely that the USVs (uncrewed surface vessels) were targeting key Russian ships sailing across the Black Sea.

Atlamazoglou added what he considers significant about this attack, and I generally concur:

The capital of Crimea, Sevastopol, is one of the most important cities to the Russian armed forces. It's an excellent port that is deep enough to take in large warships and submarines. 

Sevastopol, and the benefits it provides to the Russian military, is one of the main reasons that the Kremlin decided to invade and annex Crimea in 2014.

The Ukrainian forces continue to direct attacks within Russia and Crimea in an attempt to take the war to Moscow and hurt its credibility with the Russian people as well as force it to commit forces to defend strategic resources.

I will add, as I have said before – isolating Crimea from Russia is likely, or should be, a high priority for Ukraine.

With its forces making progress toward the peninsula, that objective becomes more realistic. Meanwhile, maintaining the capital, port and the Russian-built $4 billion Kerch bridge under Ukrainian missile attack, along with more special forces raids, is a solid strategy.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.

READ NEXT: French Ambassador Being Held Hostage

2 Comments
    Cletus Eugene Blythe

    All successful Ukrainian attacks on Russian military assets are good news. If the Ukrainians are allowed to win this war Russia will be ever changed. Maybe they will decide to execute all their politicians and oligarchs and join the world economy. They have plenty of resources to become prosperous if they rid themselves of the parasites currently in charge.

    Don Potter

    The attacks on the ruzzian fleet at Stevastopol represent a turning point in Ruzzia’s illegal, barbaric, genocidal war of oppression against Ukraine. Honor to the special forces of the AFU who executed daring commando raids in Crimea, and to the artillerymen who disabled ruzzian air defenses on the peninsula just prior to the attack on the dry dock.

    “Dry dock on fire, orc defense is terrified!”

    Ceterus, censeo Putinem et eius percussores delendos esse.

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