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Russian plan for war on the Black Sea is not working: British intelligence

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Russia’s tactics against Ukraine’s creative warfare in the Black Sea are not working, according to a new British assessment, as Moscow and Kyiv enter the third year of all-out war.

Russia could still strike Ukraine from the eastern Black Sea, but “It is becoming increasingly clear that the defensive posture adopted to guard against Ukraine’s unconventional approach to naval warfare is not working as intended“, said the UK Ministry of Defense.

Soon after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Black Sea became a key battleground between Kiev and Moscow. Ukraine has promised to return Crimea, which lies south of the mainland on the Black Sea but has been controlled by Kremlin forces since its annexation in 2014, Newsweek writes.

Ukraine does not have a large navy, but has effectively used naval drones to launch spectacular strikes against Russian targets in the Black Sea, causing deep embarrassment to Moscow. Two years of all-out war between Moscow and Kiev have significantly complicated, if not paralyzed, Russian operations in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian Navy said in early February.

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Ukrainian-designed Magura V5 naval drones attacked and destroyed the Russian large landing ship Caesar Kunikov near the southern Crimean city of Alupka, southeast of the Russian naval base in Sevastopol, Ukrainian military intelligence said earlier this month.

The Russian Federation lost numerous other ships, including its Black Sea flagship Moskva, several other landing ships and a submarine.

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The UK government has assessed that Ukraine has used drones and guided missiles to raise the perception of the Russian threat to new heights and force Moscow to move many of its assets further east, away from the Ukrainian mainland.

The Kremlin has moved some of its Black Sea assets from the peninsula to a base in Novorossiysk in Russia’s Krasnodar region, further along the Ukrainian coast. Russia is also believed to be planning to establish another Black Sea base in Abkhazia, a breakaway region internationally recognized as part of Georgia. This will further remove Russian resources in the Black Sea from Ukraine.

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British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said in late December that Russia had lost 20 percent of its Black Sea fleet in the previous four months. The continued success of Ukrainian attacks constantly forces the Black Sea Fleet to retreat.

I think the efforts to push the Black Sea Fleet out of Crimea and the western Black Sea coast were the most successful aspect of the counteroffensive.” stated earlier in an interview with Newsweek magazine Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, head of the US Army European Command.

It was previously reported that due to the large number of mines laid by the Russians, the Black Sea is becoming increasingly dangerous. The joint mine action group, the creation of which was signed by an agreement between Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, may begin to operate in April-May, said Chief of the Bulgarian Defense Staff Admiral Emil Eftimov. He clarified that the teams are ready, since the three countries have been working in joint exercises for a long time.

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Author: Victoria MIKYTYUK, “FACTS”

Source: Fakty

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