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Watch: The Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet Headquarters Was Just Hit By a Drone

"Moskva" ("Moscow") (ex-"Slava", which means "Glory") is the lead ship of the Project 1164 Atlant class of guided missile cruisers in the Russian Navy. This warship was used in the 2008 Russia-Georgia War. The Black Sea. Sevastopol bay. This photo was taken from a boat.

Former U.S. Special Forces Officer Steve Balestrieri Analyzes for us the Latest Ukraine War News – The War Spreads to Crimea: Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Crimea was hit by a drone strike early on Saturday morning, sending smoke billowing into the air. A video shot from nearby in the port of Sevastopol showed the smoke rising from the headquarters complex.

This is a continuation of the Ukrainian strategy of attacking Russian bases and ammunition depots far behind the fighting.  Moscow viewed these areas as being invulnerable due to the distance from the fighting. 

Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014 and was the staging ground for the Russian invasion in late February. Ukraine is attempting to disrupt the flow of personnel, equipment, and supplies from the peninsula to the fighting in southern Ukraine.

Ukraine War: Attacks in Crimea Cause a Change in Russian Military Leadership

These attacks, which have increased in intensity, have caused the Russians several setbacks in the region. This resulted in Moscow firing the admiral in charge of the Black Sea Fleet and replacing him with Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov. 

The flagship of the fleet, the guided missile cruiser Moskva, was sunk in April. In June, the Russians were forced to withdraw from the small but strategically important Snake Island. Last month a small drone hit the courtyard of the fleet headquarters. It did minor physical damage, and several people were injured by flying glass. However, the attack caused the Russians to cancel their annual Navy Day parade.

On August 9, the Russian Saki airbase in Crimea was rocked by several explosions that destroyed at least nine military aircraft. Reuters quoted Western military officials and the UK Defense Ministry as saying the attack on the airbase had put more than half of the Black Sea Fleet’s aircraft out of commission and forced the fleet into a defensive posture. 

Two Russian ammunition depots, one in Crimea and one in Russia, just nine miles from the Ukrainian border, were destroyed recently. It is believed that Ukrainian Special Forces working with partisan forces were responsible for the attacks.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the attack in the village of Mayskoye in Crimea resulted from sabotage. The Ukrainian government has not officially taken responsibility. The explosions resulted in about 3,000 people being evacuated due to secondary explosions of projectiles being a clear and present danger. 

The attack in Russia also forced about 1,100 people to be evacuated from two villages. It highlights the vulnerability of Russian rear areas and the ability of Ukrainian forces to infiltrate deep behind the lines and conduct operations to disrupt and harass Russian operations. 

Putin Lies About Recent Ukraine Attacks? Russia Claims No Damage As Drones Are Shot Down 

However, the Russian-appointed proxy administrator of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, gave a different version of the incident. Razvozhayev said in a post on the Telegram channel app that the fleet’s air defenses had shot down the drone. “It fell on the roof of the headquarters,” he said. “There was no significant damage, and no one was hurt.”

Oleg Kryuchkov, another Russian-proxy official,  also posted on Telegram that “attacks by small drones continue” in various locations around Crimea and urged civilians to “remain calm.”

“The goal is not military but psychological,” he wrote. “The explosives are minimal and not capable of inflicting significant harm.”

The Russian proxy governor of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, also stated that Russian air defenses had shot down several Ukrainian drones. “Air defense systems successfully hit all targets over the territory over Crimea on Saturday morning. There are no casualties or material damage,” he posted on Telegram.

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer in the 7th SFG. In addition to writing for and other military news organizations, he has covered the NFL for for over 11 years. His work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

Written By

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.



  1. David

    August 21, 2022 at 11:47 am

    These attacks do not impact the Russian war effort in a meaningful way.The reality is that Russia is taking more territory on a daily basis and killing a large number of Ukrainian troops in the process. While these drone attacks have public relations value for Ukraine, they do not in any way alter the fact that everyday Ukraine losses more territory as well as hundreds of troops. The longer Ukraine delays making an effort at a negotiated settlement, the smaller the country it will be when this finally ends. What it cannot possibly do is win.

  2. Michael David Rubin

    August 22, 2022 at 12:02 am

    The comment by “David” sounds very much like a press release, as if offered by Russia’s government?
    Substantiated facts, to the extent possible, may be persuasive.
    Unsubstantiated, & vaguely phrased, assertions do nothing.
    Every decent person would like a halt to atrocities anywhere, of whatever kind.
    If real negotiations can achieve this, wonderful.
    Negotiations, obviously, need factual content, & enforceable consequences for any agreements that result between parties, not so?
    So far, one gets empty phrases – here on “1945,” as well as from myriad other sources.
    It is regrettable that 1945 seems to just an aggregator website – it is not clear that any serious factual screening is taking place of writings by contributing authors, much less of “comments.”
    It is especially unfair to the several apparently serious writer/observers who do contribute, such as Steve Balestrieri here.
    One hopes for a net increase in real information, not blather.

  3. Michael David Rubin

    August 22, 2022 at 12:29 am

    Typo: “…seems to be just…”
    Go Pats.

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