On Friday morning, the Ukrainian military struck against the Russian Navy once again.
A salvo of missiles hit the headquarters of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, the capital of the Crimean Peninsula.
This is the second time the Ukrainians have attacked the area in the span of only a few days, showcasing Kyiv’s willingness to attack deep behind enemy lines.
It also brings to the forefront the struggle between the two militaries to gain an upper hand in the war beyond ground combat.
Attacks to the Rear in Ukraine War
Not minding the heavy fighting on the ground, the two militaries have been attacking each other behind the front lines.
“Over the last four days, both Russia and Ukraine have experienced unusually intense attacks deep behind their lines. There have been reports of explosions at Russian logistics sites, air bases and command posts in Crimea, the Krasnodar region, and near Moscow,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
Ukraine has won the propaganda game on this side fight with Russia using bold and highly effective strikes. In the last attack against the Russian Navy in Crimea, the Ukrainian military struck and destroyed one landing ship and one attack submarine, as well as damaging important dockyard infrastructure.
“It is highly likely that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has again been heavily targeted. However, the explosions at Chkalovsky Air Base, near Moscow, are likely to be of most strategic concern to Russian leaders,” the British Military Intelligence stated.
The air base is quite important to the Russian military as it hosts specialist aircraft, including electronic warfare planes, as well as VIP transport aircraft that transport the Russian leadership.
“Reported damage to a COOT special mission aircraft is particularly relevant: the exact variant involved is unclear, but these valuable assets undertake missions which include electronic intelligence collection,” the British Military Intelligence added.
Over the last week, the Russian military launched several missile attacks against Ukrainian urban centers and critical infrastructure. Contrary to the Ukrainian attacks, the Russian strikes don’t follow a particular strategy besides causing as much damage to Ukraine and its people as possible.
“This unusual intensity is likely partially in response to the incidents in Russia and Crimea. With the ground battle relatively static, each side is seeking advantage by striking through their adversary’s strategic depth,” the British Military Intelligence stated.
Committed to Victory
By attacking important military and logistical targets behind the front lines, the Ukrainian military and intelligence services send a clear message to their adversary but also to the West: we are willing, within reason, to take this war to the end, and we will stop at nothing to achieve our goal.
Even 19 months into the conflict, Ukraine continues to surprise Russia and outsiders watching the fighting unfold. Watching this and all of the sacrifices Ukraine has made so far, one thing becomes evident—Ukrainians won’t quit until they have exhausted all options to liberate their country and free their people now under the Russian yoke.
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.