KYIV ($1=36.90 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — According to unconfirmed information, at least one aerial drone has successfully attacked oil installations in the Russian port of Novorossiysk. The question is important because it was in this naval base that the Russians withdrew the most important ships of the Black Sea Fleet from the threatened Sevastopol.
Information about the possible attack on the port of Novorossiysk on November 17 or 18, 2022 is very scarce. Both sides have no intention of explaining what really happened there. The Ukrainians, because as a rule they never admit that they attacked targets located on the territory of the Russian Federation – those that everyone accepted before 2014. The Russians, on the other hand, cannot confirm that their Black Sea Fleet is under constant threat and the Novorossiysk base, where cruise missile submarines, among others, can be penetrated by foreign surface units.
Moreover, the port in Novorossiysk was considered safe in Russia until now. That is why the most important Russian ships withdrawn from the threatened Sevastopol find shelter there. This certainty results, among others, from the long route that must be traveled by sea from Odesa to attack the Black Sea Fleet located off Crimea [approximately 420 NM / 675 km]. However, for kamikaze drones that are not supposed to return, this route did not prove to be much of a problem.
A video was posted on social networks showing the moment of the explosion near the Shesharis oil terminal between ships and ships docked in Novorossiysk. The explosion was recorded at night and without any apparent Russian countermeasures or alarm to the port. Therefore, the scenario of the event resembles exactly what was observed in the attack of Ukrainian drones against Sevastopol on the night of October 28-29, 2022.
The penetration of unmanned gunboats into the port of Novorossiysk would be another disguise for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. It would turn out that the Russians later secured the base at Sevastopol, but ignored the threat in their other Black Sea ports, even though it was quite real.
In addition, the appearance of Ukrainian drones off Novorossiysk means that Russian ships can be attacked in virtually the entire Black Sea. Thus, the Russian Navy ceases to be the dominant fleet in this area and begins to limit its activities to short voyages near its own, and no longer Ukrainian, coast.
Moreover, a single drone strike certainly did not completely destroy the oil infrastructure in Novorossiysk, but it could have an impact on Russian oil exports through the Black Sea. No country will send its tankers to a port that could be threatened by foreign ships. And it is not only about direct attacks on civilian ships because Ukraine will avoid such incidents, but also about the side effects of hitting ships.
The Black Sea Fleet base is located near the Sesharis oil terminal. Of course, the Russian ships are located in the port basin covered with piers, but the place where submarines, armed with, among others, the guided missiles of the “Caliber” system are located only about 1,000 m from the terminal. In the port of Novorossiysk, there are also landing ships currently used by the Russians to transport ammunition and military equipment. An explosion of such an emergency “transport” could also cause collateral damage.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border. Moscow also claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.
On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states. According to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole. Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.
On 24 February 2022, Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country. The invasion followed also by targeted tanks entering via Belarus border.
Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.
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