On December 26, 2023, Feodosiia, a city in occupied Crimea, became the epicentre of a dramatic confrontation reverberating through the Black Sea region. The catalyst? The Ukrainian Defense Forces’ audacious strike against the Russian landing ship Novocherkassk was a move that not only dismantled a vital component of the Russian Navy but also triggered a series of events that underscored the intensity of the ongoing conflict.
The Feodosiia Fallout
As the echoes of explosions reverberated through Feodosiia, it became evident that something significant had occurred. The target: the Novocherkassk, a formidable Ropucha-class landing ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The Ukrainian Air Force, displaying precision and tactical prowess, unleashed a barrage of cruise missiles that effectively turned the tide against the occupying forces.
In the aftermath, the central district of Feodosiia found itself under a tightened grip, the Russians responding with heightened security measures and intense street-level checks on local residents. The occupiers, undoubtedly rattled by the strike, sought informants believed to be monitoring the port and clamped down on any potential leaks regarding the extent of damage inflicted on the port’s infrastructure.
However, amidst the chaos and tightened controls, the National Resistance Center remains steadfast. It dismisses Russian actions as mere hysteria, emphasizing that every enemy move is meticulously recorded and transmitted. In an encouraging call to the public, the Center urges the continued submission of enemy placement information through their anonymous chatbot, ensuring anonymity for those who contribute to the resistance cause.
The Novocherkassk, a Project 775 warship, had been a source of contention since the first attempt to attack it on March 24, 2022, in the port of occupied Berdiansk. Its recent destruction, akin to the fate of the Moskva cruiser, underscores the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ capability to strike at the heart of Russian naval power. Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Air Force, confirmed that the Novocherkassk met the same fate as its predecessors, thanks to the relentless efforts of Ukrainian forces.
The significance of this event extends beyond a mere military strike; it symbolizes Ukrainian boldness and resilience in the face of occupation. The Novocherkassk’s demise serves as a stark reminder that no vessel, no matter how imposing, is beyond the reach of Ukrainian retaliation.
The Ukrainian Air Force says it destroyed the Russian Novocherkassk Project 775 large landing ship in Feodosia. The Russian MoD acknowledged it was damaged.https://t.co/w0pPAUA3XIhttps://t.co/511kPliHuChttps://t.co/SaK3F6r3e8https://t.co/MhIYQ7pa2Khttps://t.co/EpWHQ8zIZI pic.twitter.com/Fm6B4lsQeU— Rob Lee (@RALee85) December 26, 2023
Russian Narrative vs. Ukrainian Reality
The Russian Ministry of Defence, unsurprisingly, attempted to downplay the incident, stating that the Novocherkassk was damaged “during the repelling of an attack by the Armed Forces of Ukraine using air-guided missiles.” However, Ukrainian sources present a different narrative. Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk affirmed that the Novocherkassk was targeted and successfully destroyed by cruise missiles launched from tactical aircraft belonging to Ukraine’s Air Force.
The conflicting narratives highlight the information war that accompanies every military engagement in the region. While the Russians seek to control the record, the Ukrainian Defense Forces, buoyed by their successful operation, are keen to showcase the effectiveness of their tactics.
Downed Drones and Air Superiority
Beyond the Novocherkassk, Ukrainian defenders reported the successful downing of 13 out of 19 Russian Shahid attack drones launched in the preceding hours. These drones, originating from Crimea and Russia, were systematically targeted within various oblasts, underscoring Ukraine’s ability to defend its airspace against unmanned aerial threats.
Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, shed light on the operation, revealing that cruise missiles were employed with precision. He clarified, “(Targeted) with cruise missiles. What’s there to specify? We don’t have many of these weapons in our arsenal, and they were provided to us by our partners.”
The Ukrainian Air Force’s ability to repel aerial and naval threats quickly underscores the country’s commitment to maintaining air superiority in the face of Russian aggression.
Russian Claims and Ukrainian Responses
Unsurprisingly, Russian claims of downed Ukrainian Su-24 fighters during the anti-aircraft battle were promptly refuted by Ihnat. He dismissed the allegations, stating, “Russians have even been ‘destroying’ F-16s in their reports for a long time.” It is worth noting that Ukraine has not yet acquired these particular fighter jets, exposing the disinformation tactics employed by the Kremlin.
Ihnat further addressed the significant explosion observed on the Novocherkassk, categorically stating that it was not a “minor detonation” but rather a “detonation of ammunition.” He emphasized the ship’s role in transporting equipment, weapons, and personnel, reinforcing the severity of the blow inflicted by the Ukrainian Air Force.
The Ongoing Struggle for Feodosiia
Feodosiia, already a hotbed of tension, now grapples with the aftermath of the Novocherkassk incident. Russian-appointed sham “governor” of occupied Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, reported one fatality and two injuries resulting from the attack. He noted that six buildings suffered damage, primarily with shattered windows, prompting the evacuation of six individuals to temporary accommodation points.
Aksyonov assured the public that transport infrastructure was operating normally, with no restrictions on passenger traffic. However, relocating residents from several buildings hints at the underlying strain on the city’s stability.
As Feodosiia navigates the aftermath of the Novocherkassk destruction, the incident stands as a testament to Ukrainian defiance in the face of occupation. The precision strike by the Ukrainian Air Force has not only dismantled a vital element of the Russian Navy. Still, it has also exposed the fragility of the occupiers’ control.
The National Resistance Center’s call for continued vigilance and information-sharing underscores the importance of public involvement in resisting occupation forces. The Novocherkassk incident is not merely a military engagement; it is a declaration of Ukraine’s refusal to bow to external pressures and a bold assertion of its right to sovereignty. In the ongoing struggle for Feodosiia, the Novocherkassk destruction may be remembered as a turning point in the narrative of Ukrainian resistance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What led to the destruction of the Novocherkassk landing ship in Feodosiia, Crimea?
The Novocherkassk landing ship, a key component of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, was destroyed in Feodosiia on December 26, 2023. The Ukrainian Defense Forces targeted the vessel with precision cruise missiles launched from tactical aircraft, as confirmed by Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Air Force. The destruction marked a significant blow to Russian naval power and was part of ongoing efforts by Ukrainian forces to resist occupation.
How has the situation escalated in Feodosiia following the Novocherkassk incident?
In the aftermath of the Novocherkassk destruction, Feodosiia’s central district came under tightened control by Russian forces. Security measures were intensified, with increased checks on local residents. The occupiers sought informants believed to be monitoring the port and attempted to prevent leaks about the damage to the port’s infrastructure. Despite these measures, the National Resistance Center encourages the public to submit information anonymously and assures the continuous recording and transmission of enemy activities by Ukrainian Defense Forces.