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Two-thirds of their remaining ships are currently stationed in bases and not carrying out missions — a serviceman about the Russian Black Sea Fleet

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Estimated Reading Time: 3 min

Following the loss of one-third of its Black Sea Fleet, Russia has replaced the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy. The enemy is seeking ways to secure its vessels and restore their operational capability. Currently, Russian ships and boats are primarily docked at their bases.

Andriy Ryzhenko, a reserve captain (1st rank) and former deputy chief of staff of the Ukrainian Navy from 2004 to 2020, shared insights with Hromadske Radio.

«Over the past four to five months, due to ship losses, two commanders have been replaced. Admiral Sokolov, the former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, was dismissed, and Vice Admiral Pinchuk, the former chief of staff, now assumes these duties. This decision is mainly driven by the loss of critical infrastructure within the Black Sea Fleet, including headquarters, communication points, command and control systems, and, notably, ships. The Russians lost approximately 25% of the fleet’s combat core. Once this figure exceeded 33%, Admiral Yevmenov, the Chief of the Russian Navy, was replaced by Admiral Moiseev, who previously commanded the Northern Fleet.

These replacements likely aim to reassess Russia’s strategic approach to the substantial losses in the Black Sea and address the issue of two-thirds of their remaining ships predominantly staying at bases instead of fulfilling their designated tasks. It’s noteworthy that there have been no Russian ships at sea for two weeks now. Hence, they are exploring new strategies to enhance their protection, given the critical nature of the tasks assigned to the Black Sea Fleet», — Ryzhenko remarked.

Presently, Russian Black Sea Fleet vessels are docked at bases in Crimea, Russia, and Abkhazia.

«Most of the Black Sea Fleet ships and boats are stationed in Sevastopol, primarily comprising auxiliary vessels with civilian crews or Soviet-era ships. Security at this base is stringent. Approximately 30 modern ships are stationed in Novorossiysk, which serves as a military base. While there were discussions about establishing a base in Ochamiri in the occupied regions of Georgia, only a small fraction, no more than 5%, of the Black Sea Fleet’s ships can be accommodated there», — according to military sources.

Despite a significant number of missile launchers in the Black Sea, Russia now conducts its attacks from Crimea’s territory.

«There remains a threat with ships equipped with 88 Kalibr missiles potentially deployed in the Black and Azov Seas. However, the concern lies more in Russia’s diminishing capability to manufacture the required number of these missiles. Nevertheless, they possess numerous air and coastal bases in Crimea, enabling them to control traffic in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Currently, there are minimal ships present, neither Russian nor ours. The corridor we utilize lies within the territorial waters of Ukraine and our neighboring countries», — Ryzhenko explained.

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