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Southern Command: Russia disperses ships in fear of Ukrainian strikes

by Martin Fornusek August 18, 2023 4:47 PM 2 min read
Russian ships stationed in Sevastopol, Russian-occupied Crimea, during the celebration of the Black Sea Fleet Day on May 13, 2023. (Russian Defense Ministry's press service)
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Russia has dispersed its naval forces in the Black Sea between the southeastern coast of Crimea and Novorossiysk in fear of Ukrainian surface drone strikes, Southern Command spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk said on Aug. 18.

As of the morning of Aug. 18, there are no missile carriers on duty in the Black Sea, the spokesperson added.

Humeniuk noted growing anxiety among Russian naval forces regarding Ukraine's "Sea Baby" surface drones. Russian military vessels are reportedly trying to hide behind the areas used by civilian ships, which were intentionally delineated to create an artificial buffer zone.

CNN reported on Aug. 15 that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claimed responsibility for the July 17 attack on the Crimean Bridge, using a new experimental surface drone nicknamed "Sea Baby."

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"Sea surface drones are a unique invention of the Security Service of Ukraine," Vasyl Maliuk, head of the SBU, told CNN. "None of the private companies are involved. Using these drones we have recently conducted a successful hit of the Crimean Bridge."

The Russian naval base in Novorossiysk also came under attack on Aug. 4, leading to serious damage to a military landing craft Olenegorskiy Gornyak. Several media outlets reported that the strike has been carried out by the SBU and the Ukrainian Navy using surface drones.

Russia's Defense Ministry claimed yesterday on Aug. 17 that Russian warships repelled an attempted attack by Ukrainian surface drones, without providing footage as evidence.

From Moscow to Novorossiysk: The list of attacks on Russian soil
On the morning of Aug. 4, the residents of the Russian city of Novorossiysk woke to a 112-meter-long Navy ship being towed back to port after it was hit by a drone attack on the Black Sea overnight. While the Russian Defense Ministry claimed there were no casualties or damage,

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