Since the beginning of the full-scale war, the Russian army has been striking Ukrainian cities, including from the Black Sea, as a rule with Kalibr missiles, a high precision, and long-range weapon. During this time, the armed forces of Ukraine did a lot to make the RF Black Sea fleet smaller and the Black Sea safer.

Russian ships in the Black Sea
Russian ships in the Black Sea

Today, the Russian Navy does not feel safe even in its own bases. Ukraine’s actions on the Black Sea, including missile strikes, forced the Russian fleet to retreat away from the Odesa coast and “hide” in the bays of Sevastopol. All these, as well as sinking of Moskva missile cruiser — the flagships of the fleet, negatively affected the morale and psychological state of military sailors.

It may seem paradoxical, but the Russian Navy now looks, if not destroyed, then humiliated by a state that does not have its own full-fledged navy in the traditional form. The Black Sea Fleet, like a trapped animal, is wounded, but still dangerous. Indeed, its combat capability has decreased, but the Black Sea Fleet cannot be ignored or hurry to rejoice. According to boxing terminology, Ukraine’s opponent is currently in a knockdown, but not in a knockout.

missile attack on Ukraine
Russian missile terror

Ukraine should always be prepared for the worst terrorist scenarios from the Black Sea, since the Russian Federation still has a sufficient number of ships that it can move quickly to the Ukrainian border for full-scale aggression. Fifteenth enemy Russian warships with a total salvo of 20 Kalibr cruise missiles, patrolling the Black Sea waters, is a confirmation of this. It is permanent and serious threat from this direction.

How to tackle with it? The supply of Western air defense equipment is the best guarantee of the preservation of critical infrastructure and the lives of thousands of Ukrainians. For example, the arrival of the Western NASAMS air defense systems last November helped to reduce significantly the Russian drone and missile campaign attacking the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine, including from warships in the Black Sea. Moreover, delays in the provision to Ukraine of Western long-range fires systems and tanks limit Ukraine’s ability to take advantage of opportunities for larger counter-offensive operations.

 Richard Rocksherman

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