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Date: 28 December 2023 Author: Szymon Polewka
Ukraine Damaged Russian Novocherkassk Landing Ship
At 2:50 AM on December 26, Ukraine carried out an airstrike in Crimea that destroyed a Russian Navy tank landing ship. The Novocherkassk (142) / BDK-46 (Project 775) is a large landing ship from the NATO reporting name Ropucha-class. The attack was carried out by cruise missiles Storm Shadow / SCALP-EG, launched from two Su-24M/MR reconnaissance aircraft.
Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-installed governor of Crimea, said on Telegram that one person had been killed. The RIA news agency said four people had been injured. According to the government in Kyiv, 19 servicemen died while 33 were injured. Despite a Ukrainian defeat, a counteroffensive from Kyiv indeed targeted Crimea, home to the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and inflicted significant damage. Crimea holds symbolic significance for both sides involved in the war. For Ukrainians, reclaiming Crimea symbolizes victory, whereas for Russians, holding onto the peninsula signifies regional dominance.
From Moscow’s viewpoint, Crimea functions as an unsinkable aircraft carrier, enabling significant power projection within the Black Sea basin. Russia strategically deploys its fleet to impede Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea routes, which are vital for exporting agricultural products and raw materials, constituting a significant portion of the country’s domestic economy.
The sinking of the ship coincides symbolically with this year’s Christmas celebration, marking the first time in history it is being observed together according to the Gregorian calendar. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy quipped on Telegram that his air force had added to Russia’s submarine fleet by damaging the landing ship. The situation involving the Black Sea fleet adds to the challenges Ukrainians are facing in this difficult fourth quarter of 2023. Finding solace during Christmas becomes even more important amidst these hardships.
Andrew Osborn, Max Hunder, Ukraine strikes Russian naval landing warship, Moscow admits damage, Reuters, December 26, 2023. Ukraine strikes Russian naval landing warship, Moscow admits damage | Reuters
Rafał Muczyński, Ukraińcy zniszczyli rosyjski okręt desantowy Nowoczerkask, MILMAG, December 26, 2023. https://milmag.pl/ukraincy-zniszczyli-rosyjski-okret-desantowy-nowoczerkask/
Sławomir Matuszak, A year of war in Ukraine’s foreign trade, Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich, February 8, 2023.
Tetyana Oliynyk, 33 Russian sailors missing after attack on Novocherkassk ship, Ukrainska Pravda, December 27, 2023.
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