Russia is removing its submarines from Crimea amid growing Ukrainian counter-attacks. Photo/Illustration
The British Ministry of Defense has argued that the Russian president’s 2014 annexation of Crimea was partly to ensure a base there for its Black Sea Fleet, but this aim has now been weakened.
“Russian Black Sea Fleet Command has almost certainly moved KILO-class submarines from their home port of Sevastopol in Crimea to Novorossiysk in Krasnodar Krai, southern Russia,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in its latest intelligence update.
“This is very likely due to the recent changes in local security threat levels in the face of Ukraine’s increased long-range strike capability. In the past two months, the fleet’s headquarters and its main naval aviation airfield have been attacked,” the report continued.
Read: Revealed, Russia is moving anti-aircraft missiles from St Petersburg to Ukraine
“Securing a Black Sea Fleet base in Crimea was likely one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations for annexing the peninsula in 2014. The security of the base has now been directly undermined by Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine,” the report said. Evening StandardWednesday (21/9/2022).
Britain, the United States (US), Ukraine and other allies are fighting an information war against the Kremlin so their directives need to be treated with caution, though, often far more believable than propaganda spewed out of Moscow.
In the latest update from the frontline, Ukraine said its troops had moved further east into territory recently abandoned by Russia, paving the way for a potential attack on Moscow’s occupying forces in the eastern industrial area of the Donbas as Kiev seeks to acquire more Western weapons.
“Ukrainian armed forces have regained control of the village of Bilohorivka and are preparing to retake all of Luhansk province from the Russian invaders,” provincial governor Serhiy Gaidai said.
Read: Former US general mocks Putin’s military: Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is trash