The Ukrainian military achieved another impressive success on Wednesday after it highly likely destroyed two Russian warships in Crimea.
On Wednesday, Kyiv unleashed a salvo of cruise missiles against the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea.
The Ukrainian missile attack highly likely destroyed a Ropucha-Class Russian landing ship and a Kilo-class submarine, as well as port facilities, according to the Ukrainian Military Intelligence (GUR), which described the two warships as “unrecoverable.”
Missile Attack on Sevastopol
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian forces struck deep behind enemy lines.
The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that its air defense systems intercepted seven out of the ten Ukrainian cruise missiles.
But the three munitions that got through inflicted severe damage on the port of Sevastopol.
Satellite imagery from Tuesday shows that there was a Ropucha-Class landing ship and a Kilo-Class submarine in the dry dock, while satellite imagery from after the attack suggests that both warships were destroyed.
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.
“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,” the Institute for the Study of War assessed in its most recent operational estimate on the war.
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.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Meanwhile, on day 567 of the Kremlin’s “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine, the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces continue to take serious casualties on the ground.
Over the past 24 hours, the Russian forces took a bit over 600 casualties killed, wounded, or captured as well as more than 120 losses in heavy weapon systems, drones, and vehicles.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 270,970 Russian troops, destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 316 attack and transport helicopters, 4,599 tanks, 5,944 artillery pieces, 8,810 armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles, 769 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 20 boats and cutters, 8,458 vehicles, and fuel tanks, 517 anti-aircraft batteries, 4,697 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 Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.
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