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‘Catastrophic Damage’: Ukraine Hammers Russia’s Navy in Crimea with Cruise Missiles

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian military showed Russia and the world that it’s not afraid to undertake complex missions against tough targets inside Ukraine and Russia.

M142 HIMARS. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
M142 HIMARS. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian military showed Russia and the world that it’s not afraid to undertake complex missions against tough targets inside Ukraine and Russia.

A salvo of Ukrainian cruise missiles targeted Russian shipyard facilities and warships in Sevastopol, Crimea.

Yesterday, there was a high likelihood that the Ukrainian missiles had inflicted significant damage. Today, the British Military Intelligence came out with an assessment that verifies the initial estimate.

Catastrophic Damage

The attack against the Sevmorzavod shipyard within the Sevastopol Naval Base took place in the morning hours of Wednesday, and it involved multiple cruise missiles.

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to have shot down seven incoming munitions, but those that got through were more than enough to do the work.

The landing ship Minsk and the attack submarine Rostov were hit while undergoing maintenance in the shipyards.

“Despite the Russian Ministry of Defence downplaying the damage to the vessels, open-source evidence indicates the Minsk has almost certainly been functionally destroyed, while the Rostov has likely suffered catastrophic damage,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate on the war.

“Any effort to return the submarine to service is likely to take many years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. There is a realistic possibility that the complex task of removing the wreckage from the dry docks will place them out of use for many months,” the British Military Intelligence added.

Besides losing two valuable vessels, the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet will now have difficulty with fleet maintenance. In addition, the loss of the attack submarine will degrade the Russian military’s ability to launch cruise missiles in Ukraine.

A Kilo-Class submarine, the Rostov served mainly in an attack role, meaning that it would be responsible for sinking NATO warships in the event of a conflict. In addition, it could fire cruise missiles; namely, Kalibr munitions.

Although the Russian Navy is playing a very limited role in the conflict in Ukraine, it continues to lose expensive warships due to Ukrainian ingenuity and daring. 

Russian Casualties in Ukraine: Updated Numbers 

Meanwhile, on day 568 of the Kremlin’s “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine, the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces continue to take significant casualties in the fighting.  

Over the past 24 hours, the rate of Russian casualties receded from about 620 to 470. But losses in weapon systems remained high, with approximately 90 heavy weapon systems, drones, and vehicles.   

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 271,440 Russian troops, destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 316 attack and transport helicopters, 4,612 tanks, 5,972 artillery pieces, 8,814 armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles, 774 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 20 boats and cutters, 8,492 vehicles, and fuel tanks, 521 anti-aircraft batteries, 4,714 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 889 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 1,455 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University, an MA from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and is pursuing a J.D. at Boston College Law School. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.



  1. 0Zed

    September 16, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    Putin and his cronies care more for this equipment than for the Russian people. There are many things they put ahead of the Russian people. This imperialist war is a fine example of that.

    Destroying these weapon systems is probably the most humane way to wage war. Destroying the facilities and equipment necessary to repair these weapon systems prolongs the damage.

    I pity the conscripts and skilled professionals responsible for guarding, operating, and maintaining this equipment. Stay away for as long as you can. Your superiors can’t possibly watch you every minute of every day.

    No piece of equipment is worth your life.

    Putin’s Misadventure is not worth your life.

  2. George Gordon Byron

    September 17, 2023 at 1:47 am

    The new Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Umerov, said that “The Verkhovna Rada needs to think: why can guys make children from the age of 16 with us, but serve only from the age of 18?” Well, the idea is not new. I look forward to happy comments from the heralds of the success of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
    PS. By the way, guys can have children from the age of 14…

  3. David N. Tate

    September 17, 2023 at 11:26 am

    The United States, European Union, and NATO are waging a proxy war on Russia through the Ukraine. NATO is the most powerful military and economic alliance on Earth. Essentially, the US, EU, and NATO are providing the funding, weapons, and training that allows the Ukrainian government to function. Therefore, it may be fair to say that the US, EU, and NATO are inflicting heavy losses on a very weak and isolated Russian Federation through their Ukrainian proxy.

  4. Billy

    September 17, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    When putin chose to illegally invade Ukraine he thought it would be a cake walk, but found out soon that Ukraine would not rollover and give up. It wasn’t until they demonstrated their skill and determination that the West aided them with limited weapons to help level the playing field. As the savagery of Russians came to light the West continued to help prevent rape, murdering civilians, targeting hospitals and apartment buildings.

    Russian trolls can offer their propaganda, but the world is behind Ukraine and will insure they have the tools to reduce the russian army and their equipment into rubble.

    Will there be more sniveling trolls when the HIMARS long-range ATACMS arrive? Before this is over russia will be lucky to remain on the world map. Putin destroyed russia. F-16s will arrive soon.

  5. ATM

    September 18, 2023 at 7:33 am

    Russia did say that it would use nuclear weapons if it came down to some red lines. How proud will everyone be when they finally make good on their word.

  6. George Gordon Byron

    September 18, 2023 at 8:00 am

    For David N. Tate: GDP (PPP) 2022 – Russia 5th place in the world, 1st place in Europe:
    1) The share, respectively, of services and the real sector in the countries’ GDP is (2015):
    USA – 80% and 20%
    Russia – 58% and 42%
    Germany – 67% and 33%
    Japan – 63% and 37%
    India – 50% and 50%
    China – 35% and 65%
    Brazil – 62% and 38%
    UK – 75% and 25%.
    2) The percentage of the total world economy that comes from the production of real goods in each country:
    China – 10.6%
    India – 3.4%
    USA – 3.2%
    Japan – 1.6%
    Russia – 1.4%
    Brazil – 1.2%
    Germany – 1.1%
    Great Britain – 0.6%.
    3) Even if Russia experiences a decline in GDP in 2023 (according to forecasts, the same as Egypt, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Kuwait and Oman due to a fall in oil demand), then Russia is able to provide for itself with its own real resources and potential of the owl’s own population.

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