Russian Fleet Suffers Big Defeat

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Photo Credit: U.S. Navy, via Flickr

The Russian Black Sea Fleet suffered a major blow when it lost one of its patrol crafts was sunk by Ukrainian maritime drones. The Sergey Kotov was patrolling close the Kerch straits, linking Russian proper to Crimea.

The Russian fleet has suffered many defeats by Ukrainian drones and missiles. The Moskva, a flagship cruiser, was sunk back in 2022. Ukraine itself is not seeking to dominate the Black Sea, but merely to deny Russia’s use of it. The BBC says:

Ukrainian intelligence says seven people have been killed and six more injured after a Russian patrol ship was hit and sunk in a sea drone attack.

The Kremlin is yet to comment, but some Russian bloggers confirmed the sinking of the Sergei Kotov.

Ukraine’s great success in defeating the Russian Navy can largely be attributed to Western intelligence. NATO reconnaissance has been feeding Ukraine information, probably the closest act to direct conflict with Moscow. Politico continues:

Also Tuesday, the Russian military scrambled a Su-27 fighter jet to escort a French E-3F military surveillance plane, accompanied by two Rafale fighter jets, in international air space over the Black Sea.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the Su-27 was scrambled to “prevent a violation of the state border of the Russian Federation,” adding that the French planes turned away from the Russian border after the Russian jet approached.

Russia has never been a true naval power, being divided between 4 different seas and having to invest heavily in its land forces to defend its large territory. Still, local naval superiority can help its attack on Ukraine. The West will have to be careful in this endeavor if it does not want to come to direct blows with Russia.

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