A handout picture made available by the Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhaev's telegram channel shows Mikhail Razvozhaev speaking on the phone at the scene of a missile attack on the Sevastopol Shipyard in Crimea, 13 September 2023. At least 24 people were injured, the governor said. EFE/EPA/GOVERNOR OF SEVASTOPOL MIKHAIL RAZVOZHAEV HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Ukraine steps up pressure on Crimea after key Black Sea conquest

Marcel Gascón

Kiev, Sept 15 (EFE).- Between Wednesday and Thursday, in less than 48 hours, Ukraine launched two rounds of attacks that damaged a shipyard in Sevastopol, Crimea, where they knocked out an amphibious assault ship and a submarine, and damaged two patrol boats used by Russia to control the Black Sea.

At the same time, a third attack using drones and Neptun missiles targeted a Russian military facility near the town of Yevpatoria in western Crimea. Satellite imagery confirmed the destruction of a $1.2 billion S-300/400 Triumph air defense system.

In addition, Russia reported on Thursday a fourth Ukrainian action with a maritime drone against the “Black Sea Fleet hovercraft ‘Samum.'” The attacked Russian ship managed to destroy the unmanned Ukrainian vessel without suffering any damage, according to Moscow.

The blow to the Russian fleet and the land platform it uses as a foothold in the Black Sea moves Kiev closer to its goal of demilitarizing the Crimean Peninsula (occupied by Russia since 2014), preventing Moscow from continuing to use it to launch attacks against Ukraine.

Ukraine is also seeking to end the Russian military blockade of its ports, which prevents its exports and imports from moving by sea, by endangering any Russian ship passing through the area.


Another operation, less discussed in the media, may have been the key to the success of these actions: the seizure by Ukrainian special forces of four offshore gas and oil platforms located in the waters of the Black Sea, which have been controlled by Russia since its seizure of Crimea nearly a decade ago.

“The special operation was prepared for about a month and a half,” the commander of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s special forces group, who identified himself by the nom de guerre “Pein,” told Ukrainian television last night.

“We used an inflatable boat because it is more manageable and less visible to planes,” the Ukrainian commander added about this operation, announced by Kiev on September 12, in which the Ukrainian special forces reached the Russian plane that tried to sink them.


Beyond its spectacular nature, the seizure of these oil wells used for military purposes had important results for Ukraine.

In addition to finding ammunition, Ukrainian forces seized a Neva radar system that Russia used for reconnaissance in the western part of the Black Sea.

The radar software, said Commander Pein, “contains a lot of useful information that can answer our questions. Without access to this technology, which helped them know what was happening in the area, the Russian fleet has lost access to the western part of the Black Sea.

“We have pushed them to the shores of Crimea,” said the commander, where Ukraine is also attacking with increasing ease, thanks in part to the freedom of action it has gained by freeing the western waters from Russian control.


The former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, Ben Hodges, has written about the relationship between the recovery of oil and gas platforms in the Black Sea and the attack on the Sevastopol shipyard, where the Russian military fleet builds and repairs its ships.

“Raids on Crimea and oil/gas platforms to eliminate radar, then a complex drone/rocket attack on Sevastopol. This is a very sophisticated approach to making Crimea untenable for the Russians.” Hodges, wrote on X (former Twitter).

The Ukrainian General Staff is running rings around the Russians.” He added.EFE