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Ukraine’s Navy commander: Previous methods of attack on Russian Black Sea Fleet may no longer work

Black smoke over the building of the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in Sevastopol after a missile strike by the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Black smoke over the building of the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in Sevastopol after a missile strike by the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Previous methods used to attack the Russian Black Sea Fleet may no longer be as effective, as the full-scale war enters its third year, Ukrainian Navy Commander Vice-Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa told British Sky News on Jan. 27.

“The enemy is adapting, and we must also adapt. A modern war is a war of technologies. Whoever wins in the technological sense will have victory," he said.

Read also: Ukrainian intel notes decline in Russian naval presence around Sevastopol following relocation to Novorossiysk

The sea war has two goals — to stop the Russian navy from being able to attack Ukraine and to enable ships to access Ukrainian ports.

Despite limited naval assets, the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU), supported by the UK and other Western allies, have been conducting a “David-versus-Goliath”-style war against Russia's much larger Black Sea Fleet, destroying ships and infrastructure, and even sinking a submarine.

Ukraine is believed to have destroyed more than two dozen Russian vessels, forcing Moscow to pull back a number of warships from Crimea to the Russian port of Novorossiysk.

The attack on Russia's Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva on Apr. 14, 2022 remains one of Ukraine's most iconic triumphs, "achieving a military goal, but also a political one."

Ukrainian military intelligence reported in October that Russian forces in Crimea had been transferring Black Sea Fleet ships to the port of Novorossiysk for several months now.

Read also: Nearly 80 Russian sailors aboard the Novocherkassk ship during strike by Ukrainian missile

Ukraine’s Operational Command South stated that same month that Russian forces were barely using Sevastopol’s bays for their ships after successful strikes by the AFU.

Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk reported a strike on the Russian Ropucha-class landing ship Novocherkassk in Feodosia, occupied Crimea, on the night of Dec. 26. The AFU later stated that the attack was carried out by cruise missiles.

The Ukrainian Navy reported that at the time of the missile attack there may have been approximately 80 people on board.

According to Neizhpapa, any Russian Navy ship is a legitimate target for Ukraine, no matter where it is in the world's oceans.

Forcing the Russian Black Sea Fleet to flee Crimea is a historic achievement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his opening speech at the second Crimean Platform parliamentary summit in Prague on Oct. 24.

Russian naval ships are no longer able to sail safely in the western waters of the Black Sea, he noted.

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