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Navy: Russia withdraws 'most valuable' ships from occupied Crimea

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 31, 2024 4:23 AM 2 min read
Russia's Black Sea fleet warships take part in the Navy Day celebrations in the port city of Novorossiysk on July 30, 2023. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Russian military has withdrawn nearly all its major ships from ports in occupied Crimea following successful Ukrainian strikes on the Black Sea Fleet, Navy Spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk said on air on March 30.

In recent months, Ukraine has intensified its attacks on Black Sea Fleet targets in occupied Crimea, successfully targeting several ships and forcing Russian vessels to redeploy to safer waters.

Russia has now withdrawn all its major vessels except for the rocket carrier Cyclone, Pletenchuk said.

"I mean that most of the combat units, if you take the carriers of cruise missiles, actually all relocated, except for one," he said.

Pletenchuk described the Cyclone as a "loser" that "still has not launched a single missile."

Russia began redeploying the Black Sea Fleet to Novorossiysk last year after a series of devastating Ukrainian strikes including a missile attack on its headquarters in Sevastopol on Sept. 22.

Now, "the most valuable assets are all withdrawn," according to Pletenchuk.

The Strategic Communications Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (StratCom) recently reported that as of early February 2024, 33% of the Black Sea Fleet’s warships had been disabled, including 24 ships and one submarine.

Russia has taken a number of steps to address the continuing threat, including replacing the commander of the Russian Navy earlier this month.

Russian forces accidentally shot down their own Su-27 fighter jet over Crimea on March 29. Ukraine's Navy attributed the mistake to "heightened combat readiness" amid increasing Russian losses.

These are the most important Russian ships destroyed by Ukraine
Editor’s note: The article was originally published on Jan. 30 and updated on March 11 at 4:17 p.m. Kyiv time. One of the most unexpected developments of the full-scale invasion was how many big, expensive Russian ships were taken out by Ukraine, a country that technically has no
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