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Shoigu calls for better Navy defense in visit to Black Sea Fleet, Russian Defense Ministry says

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 17, 2024 2:13 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 Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered increased training and more weapons to repel Ukraine's attacks on the Black Sea Fleet, according to a statement by Russia's Defense Ministry on March 17.

"It is necessary to conduct training every day with personnel. Training to repel air attacks and attacks by unmanned boats," Shoigu said, according to the statement on Telegram. He also ordered the installation of additional fire weapons, large-caliber machine-gun rifle systems to destroy Ukrainian drones.

The comments were made during a visit to speak with troops at a Black Sea command post, presumably in Russian-occupied Crimea.

The statement noted that Shoigu also visited Sevastopol in Crimea to inspect the progress of a new military hospital under construction there.

Russia's Black Sea Fleet, whose headquarters is located in Crimea, has been repeatedly struck by Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Attacks include the sinking of the flagship cruiser Moskva in April 2022 and a devastating missile attack on the fleet's headquarters in occupied Crimea that reportedly killed more than 30 officers.

Around 30% of Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been disabled as of early February 2024, according to the Ukrainian military.

Most recently, on March 5, Ukraine's military intelligence reported destroying the Russian patrol ship Sergey Kotov.  

According to Ukraine's military intelligence, the Project 22160 patrol ship suffered damage to its stern and on its left and right sides. Sergey Kotov was reportedly located near the Kerch Strait when it was attacked by domestically-produced Magura V5 naval drones.

"The cost of the sunken ship is about $65 million," the agency wrote.

On March 10, Russian news outlets reported that the commander of the Russian Navy had been replaced.

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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