Putins Black Sea fleet decimated with just 7 ships left after stormy weather
Vladimir Putin's Black Sea fleet has been almost completely decimated by "stormy weather", according to Ukraine's military.
Ukraine's Southern Operational Command took to Facebook yesterday (Wednesday, November 16) to deliver the embarrassing news to Russia's despotic leader.
Their post read: "While the stormy weather is intensifying in the Black Sea, the enemy flotilla was reduced to seven vessels, including one submarine missile carrier.
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"Four Kalibr cruise missiles are on standby. But it is quite likely that more vessels will be deployed to striking positions."
According to the Moscow Times, Russia's Black Sea fleet consisted of around 50 vessels before Putin launched his "special military operation" in Ukraine.
In April, the fleet's flagship Moskva was struck by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles off the coast of Odessa, causing a large fire before the pride of Russia's navy sank.
"With the loss of the Moskva, hundreds of marines and a number of other ships, the fleet likely no longer has the combat power to support fully cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea," independent military analyst Pavel Luzin said at the time.
The sinking of the Moskva, both symbolically and militarily enormous, was followed by more Russian losses.
The Black Sea fleet's headquarters in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol has been attacked on several occasions, with one drone strike in June reportedly causing six casualties. Planned Navy Day celebrations were cancelled by the Russians.
Hundreds of troops died when the fleet joined the siege of Mariupol, and in August the fleet's commander Igor Osipov was removed and replaced by Vice Admiral Victor Sokolov.
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Michael Kofman, director of the Russia Studies Program at think tank CNA, told Politico that “poor preparation, apparent carelessness, and a general lackadaisical attitude of the Black Sea Fleet likely led” to Osipov losing his job.
Yet the fleet continues to be battered.
At the start of this month, Russia's ambassador to the UK even claimed British special forces were involved in a Ukrainian drone attack that hit Russian ships.
Andrei Kelin told Sky News: "We perfectly know about [the] participation of British specialists in [the] training, preparation and execution of violence against the Russian infrastructure and the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. We know that it has been done."
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