Russia withdraws submarines from Crimea base over fears of long-range missile attacks from Ukraine

Russia is believed to have withdrawn its powerful attack submarines from their homeport in Crimea over concerns they are vulnerable to long-range Ukrainian airstrikes, British intelligence said.

Kilo-class submarines were once the order of the day in the port of Sevastopol, the capital of the peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Now British military officials believe the boats were moved to Novorossiysk.

Yesterday the Defense Ministry said: “The command of the Russian Black Sea Fleet has almost certainly moved its Kilo-class submarines from their homeport of Sevastopol in Crimea to Novorossiysk in the Krasnodar Krai in southern Russia

“This is most likely due to the recent change in local security threat levels given the increased Ukrainian long-range attack capability.

“In the past two months, the fleet’s headquarters and its main naval aviation base have been attacked.

“Securing Black Sea Fleet bases in Crimea was probably one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations for annexing the peninsula in 2014.

“Base security has now been directly undermined by Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine.”

Early in the war, the Russian Navy’s four Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines were deployed near the Black Sea port of Odessa and were widely used to launch Kalibr cruise missiles at targets on land.

However, recent long-range attacks, most likely carried out by Ukrainian special forces and pro-Kyiv partisans, have unsettled Russian commanders over the security of their military installations stationed in Crimea.

Sevastopol was the main base of the Black Sea Fleet in Soviet times, but Novorossiysk, some 200 km to the east in Krasnodar Territory, was always a backup port.

Plans to upgrade facilities at Novorossiysk slowed after Moscow agreed access to Crimea and base rights with Kyiv following Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Serious upgrades only began in 2005.

The base is optimized for surface ships, which means a lot of infrastructure needs to be built to accommodate the Kilo-class submarines.

In addition to refueling and other facilities, the submarines require purpose-built areas to hold and load weapons onto boats, a process that can take years.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s armored forces appeared on the verge of receiving new hardware after Slovenia agreed to send 28 M55 self-propelled howitzers to Kyiv.

The plan calls for Germany to send equipment to Slovenia in exchange for its weapons, which are sent to Ukraine.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/russia-withdraws-submarines-from-crimean-base-over-fears-of-long-range-missile-attacks-from-ukraine-42005593.html Russia withdraws submarines from Crimea base over fears of long-range missile attacks from Ukraine

Fry Electronics Team

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