Why did the Ukrainian attacks on Crimea suddenly ESCALATE in early August?

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Last month saw spectacular Ukrainian attacks on the Crimean Peninsula, hitting Russian warships and missiles.

Estimates of the damage done ran into billions of pounds and raised the question: is Ukraine getting ready to retake Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014?

Crimea is a Russian fortress, so it is important not to get carried away.

‘The strategy has two main goals,’ says Oleksandr Musiienko, from Kyiv’s Centre for Military and Legal Studies.

‘To establish dominance in the north-western Black Sea and to weaken Russian logistical opportunities for their defence lines in the south, near Tokmak and Melitopol.’

In other words, operations in Crimea go hand-in-glove with Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the south.

Ukraine’s recent successes in Crimea

On 23 August, at Olenivka, on the western tip of the Tarkhankut Peninsula, Ukraine managed to destroy another launcher and a nearby radar station.

Russia was thought to have not more than six S-400 launchers in Crimea. Now it has lost two.

But these are only some of Ukraine’s recent operations.

On Wednesday September 13, long-range cruise missiles, supplied by the UK and France, dealt a heavy blow to Russia’s much-vaunted Black Sea fleet at its home port of Sevastopol.

Satellite images of the scene at the Sevmorzavod dry dock repair facility showed two blackened vessels.

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On Friday September 15, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said a large amphibious landing ship, the Minsk, had ‘almost certainly been functionally destroyed’.

Russia suffers more damage

Next to it, one of Russia’s Kilo class diesel-electric submarines, the Rostov-on-Don – used to launch Kalibr cruise missiles hundreds of miles into Ukraine – had ‘likely suffered catastrophic damage’.

Perhaps equally importantly the dry docks – vital for maintenance of the entire Black Sea fleet – would likely be out of use ‘for many months’, the ministry said.

On Saturday September 16, Ukraine offered tantalising new details.

It said special forces had played a key role, using boats and an unspecified ‘underwater delivery means’ to get ashore, before using ‘special technical assets’ to help identify and target the vessels.

But with the fires barely out in Sevastopol there were more dramatic night-time explosions as Ukraine blew up one of Russia’s most modern air defence systems, an S-400, around 40 miles (64km) north at Yevpatoria.

This was another sophisticated operation that used a combination of drones and Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles to confuse and destroy a key component of Russia’s air defences on the Crimean Peninsula.

Last week Thursday was the second time in less than a month that Ukraine has knocked out an S-400 surface-to-air missile system on the peninsula.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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