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Partisans: Russia constructing barriers to prevent further strikes on Black Sea fleet

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 27, 2024 1:00 PM 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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Russian forces in occupied Crimea are constructing barriers at the entrance to Sevastopol Bay to prevent further Ukrainian strikes on the Black Sea fleet, the partisan group Atesh reported on March 27.

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

While the most recent strikes used missiles to hit three ships and a military communication center, the measures reported by Atesh appear to be an attempt to prevent Ukrainian sea drone attacks.

“After the strikes of the Ukrainian Defense Forces with cruise missiles and naval drones on the Battleships ‘Yamal’ and ‘Azov,’ the command of the Russian Black Sea fleet blocks the passage of boats and puts up new barriers at the sea entrance to the bay,” the group said in a post on Telegram.

Accompanying the post was a picture and short video showing cranes operating near a section of water in the bay.

The post ended with an appeal to “residents of the occupied peninsula” to “continue to transmit information about the situation in the bay.”

Ukraine struck two Russian Ropucha-class landing ships, "Yamal" and "Azov," in occupied Crimea in the late hours of March 23, Ukraine's Armed Forces confirmed on March 24.

On March 26, it reported the landing ship Konstantin Olshansky had been hit by a Neptune missile during the same attack.

Ukraine’s domestically-produced Magura V5 naval drones have scored several successes, most recently destroying a Black Sea fleet patrol ship, the Sergey Kotov.

The Strategic Communications Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (StratCom) recently reported that as of early February 2024, 33% of the 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.

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