New satellite images have revealed the aftermath of Ukraine’s strike on a Russian naval base in Crimea. The images, captured on Tuesday and Wednesday, show damage to the vessels in the dry dock at the Russian naval shipyard in Sevastopol. The authenticity of the imagery has not been independently verified, but Ukraine has confirmed launching 10 cruise missiles at Russia’s naval facilities in Sevastopol on Wednesday, with Russian air defenses intercepting seven of the missiles. Ukraine also used three uncrewed naval drones against Russian ships in the Black Sea.
The missile strikes reportedly damaged Moscow’s Rostov-on-Don submarine, the first Russian submarine hit during the war, and the Minsk landing ship at the Ordzhonikidze shipyard. Ukraine has been increasingly targeting Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, which Russia has controlled since annexing the peninsula in 2014. Moscow has utilized Crimea to launch attacks on Ukrainian territory throughout the war.
Taking out one Russian submarine in Crimea may not significantly affect Russia’s ability to launch cruise missile attacks from the Black Sea, according to strategic analysts. However, damaging the dock could harm Russia’s maintenance capabilities. Ukraine aims to achieve temporary air superiority in the Black Sea once it receives U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, posing a potential threat to the Russian surface fleet.
Russia’s forces now fear that their established bases in the Black Sea are no longer as secure as previously believed. The governor of Sevastopol reported a fire in the city and injuries to 24 people. In retaliation, Russia claims that Ukraine attacked a Black Sea Fleet patrol vessel with uncrewed naval drones and launched aerial drones over Crimea.
These recent developments demonstrate the escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia, with both sides engaging in acts of aggression.