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18 Sep. 2023


Attacks on Crimea: How many targets has Ukraine hit recently and why is this just the beginning?

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Attacks on Crimea: How many targets has Ukraine hit recently and why is this just the beginning?

In recent weeks, Ukraine has conducted a series of successful operations in Crimea, which resulted in the destruction of russian ships and advanced air defense systems. Learn more about the special operations that have become a phenomenon in the world history of warfare

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Since the beginning of the summer of 2023, Ukraine has increased the number of strikes on important strategic russian targets in Crimea, including not only oil depots and businesses, but also airfields, training grounds, depots, bridges, ships and air defense systems.

As early as July 2023, Ukrainian authorities noted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine could strike any object on the peninsula. However, some of the special operations conducted have become not just "another destruction of strategic objects," but a real phenomenon in the world history of warfare.

What does Ukraine use to strike Crimea?

Most of the strikes on the territory of the annexed Crimea were carried out with long-range Storm Shadow and Scalp missiles, which were provided to Ukraine by the UK and France.

"We hang the British Storm Shadow under the left wing of the Su-24M, and the French Scalp under the right wing. Both missiles work perfectly well, without a chance for the occupier," said Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on his Telegram channel. He also added that "there is a place for the German Taurus under the wings of our bombers." 

Ukraine has also repeatedly used domestic Neptune missiles to attack land targets and ships, which sent the flagship of the russian Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser "moskva", to the bottom of the Black Sea.

In addition, the occupiers have repeatedly claimed to have shot down Ukrainian C-200 missiles while attempting to hit targets in Crimea. However, the Ukrainian authorities did not comment on these statements. Read more about whether Ukraine could have converted Soviet missiles into modern long-range weapons here.

And the main "calling card" of the Ukrainian navy, which was used to strike not only the russian fleet but also the Crimean bridge, was the "SeaBaby", which are manufactured underground.

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Attack on the Black Sea Fleet or how Ukraine destroyed Minsk and Rostov-on-Don from the sky?

On September 13, during a successful special operation, Ukraine destroyed two russian ships at the Sevmorzavod dry dock repair base. According to experts, the large amphibious assault ship Minsk was completely destroyed, and the submarine Rostov-on-Don, from which russia attacked Ukraine with Kalibr, "suffered catastrophic damage." Equally important is the fact that the dry docks where the ships were located are out of commission for more than a month, which means that russia will not be able to use them to repair other vessels.

A little later, the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provided some interesting details of the special operation. It is said that special forces played a key role in identifying the vessels and adjusting the strike. The report says that they used boats and certain "underwater means" to get to the shore, and then, thanks to "special technical means," identified the ships and carried out "targeting."

Destruction of the S-400 near Sevastopol: what is unique about the special operation?

On September 14, it became known that russia's second most advanced air defense system, the S-400, had been destroyed. In August, Ukraine destroyed the first air defense system on the Tarkhankut Peninsula near Olenivka, and less than a month later, using a combined attack with drones and Neptune missiles, it first "destroyed the eyes" of the system - radars and antennas, and then struck a decisive blow at the launchers.

According to preliminary estimates, russia had 6 such systems, and they were supposed to "reliably protect Crimea," but today it is clear that air defense systems cannot even protect themselves. 

In addition, the seizure of Boyko towers in the Black Sea by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which were used by russia for radio reconnaissance and adjustment of strikes on Ukraine, has created a big hole in russian air defense.

Why will there be more strikes on the territory of Crimea?

The successful destruction of air defense systems forces russia to deploy less effective systems from across the country, but this is unlikely to help russian troops protect strategic facilities in Crimea from destruction. After all, Ukraine is acting gradually and deliberately. First, by "clearing" the territory of electronic warfare, then of air and missile defense, and then by striking at the facilities. 

Moreover, russia does not have the resources to replace the S-400, as it is the newest system with the longest range. This means that the two destroyed systems are a giant hole in the defense, which allows the destruction of facilities in the heart of Crimea, including the shipyard, in the most important naval base of the russian federation.

It is also important that the Ukrainian attacks forced russia to redeploy three Black Sea Fleet ships to the Azov Sea. A scenario in which russia is forced to move all of its ships out of the Black Sea is unlikely. However, these movements indicate that even constant maneuvering at sea no longer guarantees the safety of the russian fleet. After all, the new modification of the "Sea Baby" that hit the russian ship Samum near the entrance to Sevastopol Bay on September 14 can hit ships even in a storm, thus hiding from detection behind high waves.

The Ukrainian authorities also announced an increase in the number of strikes. In particular, the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, said that as the production of maritime drones increases, russia will have fewer and fewer ships. And thanks to the expansion of drone production at Antonov, there will be more explosions not only in Crimea but also in russia.

We believe in the Armed Forces and victory!

We remind you! The General Staff of Ukraine has officially confirmed that after months of fighting, Andriivka, located south of Bakhmut, has been liberated from the russians. Read more about why the occupiers were so intent on this settlement and why the de-occupation of the village is important for Ukraine here.

Photo: Sergei Malgavko (TASS)

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