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'Long time' needed to repair Russian Serpukhov vessel after fire, Ukraine says

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 9, 2024 12:46 PM 2 min read
The Russian missile ship Serpukhov in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July 21, 2019. (Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The Russian missile ship Serpukhov, which was reportedly set on fire, will be difficult to repair under sanctions pressure, Dmytro Pletenchuk, Ukraine's Navy spokesperson, said on April 9.

Ukraine's military intelligence claimed on April 8 that the fire had "disabled" the ship and that its means of communication and automation were "completely destroyed."

A source from Ukraine's military intelligence confirmed for the Kyiv Independent that its operatives were behind the fire. It was the first such attack on Russian naval assets in the Baltic Sea.

"If it's communications, automation systems, then the ship requires repairs. When such ships were being built, it was no secret that, just like in airplanes, there were few Russian (parts) in them except for cables, metal, and crew," Pletenchuk said on national television.

Andrii Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine's military intelligence agency, said that Serpukhov is afloat, but it "will take a long time" to repair the damaged modern equipment.

"Russia was probably planning to move it (the ship) to the Black Sea, considering the losses of the Black Sea Fleet," Yusov told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) on April 9.

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

Russian authorities reported on April 8 that the Russian ice navigation vessel Katerina Velikaya caught fire while undergoing repairs at the shipyard Dalzavod in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

One person was killed, and three others were injured, Russian authorities said, adding that the circumstances of the fire were under investigation.

Opinion: What’s left of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet?
Russia’s war against Ukraine is shattering the conventions of warfare in many ways. One of the most illustrative examples is the systematic destruction of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF) by Ukraine, a country that has virtually no navy of its own. The Ukrainian military’s use of coastal
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