In an interview published on Jan. 27, Vice Admiral Neizhpapa signaled Kyiv would be able to win the war faster if it had permission to fire Western weapons against targets inside Russia, Sky News reported.
"We must have the capabilities to make sure that Russia will give up forever the thought of even looking in Ukraine's direction, including at sea," Neizhpapa said, as quoted by Sky News.
Throughout the full-scale war, Ukraine has regularly struck Russia's Black Sea fleet, with the best-known strike being the sinking of the Russian navy missile cruiser Moskva, estimated to be worth $750 million in April 2022.
In October 2023, U.K. Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said that Ukraine's recent attacks on Russia's Black Sea Fleet have led to the "functional defeat" of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea.
Ukraine claimed that the latter killed 34 Russian officers, including the fleet's commander, and injured 105 more soldiers.
These strikes have caused "almost certainly severe" damage to the fleet, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Sept. 26. The fleet's ability to continue wider regional security patrols and enforce its de facto blockade of Ukrainian ports is therefore likely reduced, it added.
According to Sky News, the Sept. 22 attack was carried out using U.K.-provided long-range Storm Shadow missiles.