Ukraine’s Courageous Strike on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet HQ Garners International Attention.
KYIV, Ukraine – September 22, 2023 – In a display of audacity that has captured the world’s attention, Ukraine has unequivocally claimed responsibility for a precision missile strike on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the highly contentious region of Crimea. This attack, which unfolded on a Friday afternoon, has sent shockwaves throughout the international community, prompting both condemnation and speculation about the ongoing conflict in the region.
Air force spokesperson Yuriy Ignat, speaking on Ukrainian television, expressed a mixture of satisfaction and surprise regarding the results of the strike. He remarked, “I wanted a bigger hole to be honest,” referring to the impact of the attack on the Russian facility.
The precision of this strike, employing Storm Shadow and Scalp cruise missiles supplied by the UK and France, has raised eyebrows and, not least, concern among military analysts. Ignat further emphasized, “This is the best advertisement in the world of our weapons, which fly exactly on target. For some reason, the Russian air defense cannot cope, for the umpteenth time.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense quickly responded to the attack, reporting on Telegram that “In the course of repelling the missile attack, anti-aircraft missiles shot down five missiles. As a result of the attack, the historic headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet was damaged. According to the information available, one soldier was killed.” However, they later revised their statement to indicate that the soldier was, in fact, “missing.”
Ignat revealed that the attack had been executed with the assistance of “Russian residents of Crimea” who provided invaluable information. He declared, “This is not only a blow to the heart of the naval forces of the Black Sea Fleet; this is a blow to the dictatorship of Putin. Everyone will see it. This cannot be hidden.”
The aftermath of the missile strike has witnessed an escalation of tensions in the region, as Russian officials reported an “unprecedented” cyberattack targeting its internet providers on the peninsula. Notably, this incident follows a missile strike just two days prior on Russia’s backup Black Sea Fleet command post.
In a separate incident earlier in the week, Kyiv had announced that two Russian planes and a helicopter were “significantly damaged” in an attack carried out by “unknown saboteurs” on one of the Kremlin’s primary military airfields, situated 30 km northeast of Moscow. The Directorate of Military Intelligence of Ukraine (HUR) detailed that the operation occurred at the Chkalovsky Air Base and caused considerable consternation among military circles.
The HUR added, “Unknown saboteurs… planted explosives and detonated AN-148 and IL-20 aircraft (both belong to the 354th special purpose aviation regiment) at the airfield, which is carefully guarded, as well as the MI-28N [Havoc] helicopter, which was actively involved in shooting down attack drones over Moscow region.”
This recent series of events has added another layer of complexity to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, particularly in the highly sensitive region of Crimea. As the world watches closely, the actions and reactions of both nations remain uncertain, with the potential for further escalation of hostilities looming on the horizon.