Ukraine strikes warship stolen by Putin’s forces throughout Crimea occupation in 2014 | EUROtoday

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Ukraine has hit 4 Russian navy ships in occupied Crimea, together with one stolen from the Ukrainian navy in 2014, because it escalates its missile marketing campaign in opposition to Vladimir Putin’s prized Black Sea Fleet.

Ukrainian navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk claimed a Ukrainian-made Neptune cruise missile hit the 113 metre-long “Konstantin Olshansky” touchdown ship that Russia captured from Ukraine after the unlawful annexation of Crimea firstly of 2014.

“This ship was supposed to be used by Ukraine. That’s why it was decided to destroy this unit with our Neptune,” Mr Pletenchuk stated, including that it had been sitting within the Crimea port of Sevastopol ready to be stripped for components. “It was being prepared for use against Ukraine… so unfortunately the decision was taken to strike this [ship].”

The spokesperson additionally claimed that three different ships, the big touchdown ships “Azov” and “Yamal”, and the reconnaissance ship “Ivan Khurs”, were also damaged in the attack. The strike was already known, but Ukraine previously said it had only hit the Azov and Yamal.

Satellite imagery of Pivdenna Bay in Sevastopol suggested that at least the “Ivan Khurs” had been damaged, while images of the other ships remained inconclusive.

Though Ukraine has virtually no navy of its own, more than a third of Putin’s prized Black Sea Fleet originally stationed in Crimea have been damaged or destroyed since Russia started its full-scale invasion in February 2022. While Russia appears to have retaken the initiative on the frontline on mainland Ukraine, taking several towns over the past six weeks in the eastern Donetsk region, Kyiv’s long-range assault has remained a key area of success.

The most notorious of Ukraine’s strikes was the destruction of Russia’s flagship Moskva guided missile cruiser in April 2022. Last summer, after several long-range Ukrainian attacks, inlcuding on the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters, dozens of Russia’s ships were forced to relocate more than a hundreds miles east of Crimea to the port of Novorossiysk on mainland Russia to mitigate against the threat.

While the “Konstantin Olshansky” was not in active service when it was hit earlier this week, it was nonetheless hailed as a significant victory for Ukraine because it was formerly part of the Ukrainian navy.

It was one of the few ships that Russia seized and did not return or sink after having annexed the territory and kicked out the Ukrainian Navy.

“10 years have passed, but justice has been restored,” wrote the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. “The russian Black Sea Fleet is suffering in temporarily occupied Crimea. Ukraine will win!”

Andrii Ryzhenko, a former officer in the Ukrainian Navy, said the ship was never operationalised by Russia but was set to be stripped for parts to be used to refurbish the Russian “Olenegorsky Gornyak” and “Minsk” Ropucha-class landing ships, which were destroyed by Ukrainian attacks in August and September respectively last year.

Men in unmarked uniforms stand guard through the seizure of the Ukrainian corvette Khmelnitsky in Sevastopol, Crimea, in March 2014

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

There has been no remark from Russia’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) however Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvozhayev wrote on his Telegram channel on 24 March that there had been the “most massive attack in recent times”.

Ukraine, in the meantime, stated it shot down 12 extra drones on Tuesday morning, a few of which have been fired from occupied Crimea. They claimed that each one drones had been shot down.

It got here as Russia’s prosecutor common referred to as for strategic enterprises to be provided with anti-drone defences, state information company Tass reported.

Ukraine has in latest months stepped up drone strikes in opposition to Russian financial targets, together with in opposition to at the least 9 oil refineries this 12 months.

Inflation is working at almost twice the central financial institution’s 4 per cent goal and strain on gasoline costs has been exacerbated by the Ukrainian assaults.

In Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky additionally changed his safety council secretary Oleksiy Danilov as a part of a seamless shake-up of Ukraine’s prime management.

Mr Danilov, who has held the put up of head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council since October 2019, only some months after Mr Zelensky assumed workplace, was changed by international intelligence service chief Oleksandr Lytvynenko.

The transfer comes a month after Mr Zelensky eliminated Ukraine’s prime navy common Valery Zaluzhny, who is ready to turn into the subsequent ambassador to the UK.

No purpose was given for this newest change to Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, which has a coordinating function on problems with nationwide safety and defence below the president. It includes the nation’s prime political, safety and defence chiefs.

Mr Lytvynenko was head of the international intelligence companies from June 2021. According to the president’s web site, he will probably be changed by Oleh Ivashchenko. The lieutenant common beforehand held the place of deputy head of Ukraine’s navy intelligence company.