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UK Defense Ministry: Russian landing craft Minsk 'almost certainly' destroyed

by Martin Fornusek September 15, 2023 9:36 AM 2 min read
The Russian Black Sea Fleet's Ropucha-class landing craft Minsk, 2011. (Source: Wikipedia) 
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The Russian landing vessel Minsk has almost certainly been "functionally destroyed" in the recent strike against the Sevmorzavod shipyard in occupied Crimea, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its intelligence report on Sept. 15.

The Ropucha-class ship Minsk and the Kilo-class submarine Rostov-on-Don have sustained hits during a Sept. 13 strike against Sevastopol's ship repair facility while both of the vessels were undergoing repairs.

According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, the submarine has most likely suffered "catastrophic damage" based on open-source evidence and any efforts to return it to service would probably take years and hundreds of millions of dollars.

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,

Ukraine's military intelligence reported that the strike damaged not only the two docked ships but also Sevmorzavod's infrastructure. The British analysis added that until the wreckage is removed, the dry docks will likely stay out of action for months to come.

The U.K. ministry stressed the importance of the naval facility for maintenance purposes of the Black Sea Fleet, as well as the value of Rostov-on-Don, which is one of the Fleet's four missile-capable submarines that has played a major role in strikes against Ukraine.

The Black Sea has seen an escalation of hostilities following Russia's unilateral termination of the grain deal.

As Russia began targeting Ukraine's ports and agricultural infrastructure, Russian officials have also reported on a number of alleged Ukrainian strikes against targets in occupied Crimea and Russian naval bases.

Only a day after the attack on Sevmorzavod, Ukrainian drones and missiles reportedly destroyed an advanced Russian air defense system S-400 in the Crimean coastal city of Yevpatoriia.

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