In the early hours of Wednesday, September 13, Ukraine launched a missile attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet based in Sevastopol.
The effort turned out to be the most devastating so far for the Russian fleet since war-start. The Minsk Ropucha-class large landing ship, which the Russians had deployed from the Baltic Sea on the eve of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, was destroyed. Also, for the first time, Russia lost a submarine capable of launching Kalibr cruise missiles. Russia’s defense officials acknowledged the attack targeting the Sevastopol shipyard, which also sustained major damage. Ukraine reported that the attack involved Storm Shadow cruise missiles. Indeed, it’s the only type of missiles currently in service with the Ukrainian Army that is capable of hitting targets at such a distance from mainland Ukraine, which at the same time proves technological superiority of the Western military industry over the Russian one, as well as points to the skillful use of these weapons by Ukraine’s military. Provided a steady supply of the required capabilities to Ukraine, the nation’s defenders will prevail over Russia and move on to liberate all territories that are currently occupied by the aggressor power.
The attack on Sevastopol was a real shocker to the Russians — the authorities ordered to suspend traffic across the Crimea Bridge several times within 24 hours, apparently fearing further missile and drone attacks. Russian air defense systems proved helpless against British Storm Shadow missiles: despite the statement by Russia’s military that the majority of incoming missiles were intercepted, the scale of destruction and images of the blaze that broke out at the site where the targeted assets were located testify to the success of the operation to take out the legitimate war targets. Accordingly, the attack on Sevastopol became a massive blow to Vladimir Putin’s public image as UK-supplied missiles wreaked havoc in the strategic port city the Kremlin boss believes is of special importance. On September 14 came the reports of a successful strike that annihilated the Russian S-400 air defense system in occupied Crimea. The unit, estimated at nearly $1.2 billion, was hit by two Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles. It is worth noting that the Russian media have embargoed coverage of the strike as the last thing the Kremlin would need today is to acknowledge yet another embarrassment.
Russia’s military presence in the Black Sea is a a threat to the countries of the Black Sea region. Russia’s terrorist activities, including planting mines in the northwestern waters of the Black Sea, blocking navigation to and from the Ukrainian ports, and forced searches on foreign commercial vessels in the specified part of the Black Sea all constitute a hybrid threat to the entire West. After the September 13 attack, military experts have been speculating that the whole Russian Black Sea Fleet would be eventually destroyed. In fact, this is an irreplaceable solution for the security of not only Ukraine, but also the Western powers. Russia has a history of committing war crimes, which have assumed their most horrific form in Ukraine. If Putin is not stopped, the Russian army will move on to try to conquer Europe – a number of polls show that Russians hate Ukraine and the West nearly equally, seeking their destruction. Accordingly, depleting the Russian army, using modern Western weapons, is the only real security guarantee for the EU and NATO and a way to prevent a direct military confrontation with the Russian Federation.