Russia said its Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Crimea was hit by a Ukrainian missile on Friday.
It's the latest in a series of attacks that have damaged the fleet's ships and facilities.
Intelligence and experts have said it's part of Ukraine's counteroffensive, and the goal is to make Crimea "untenable" for Russia.
Things have just kind of been going from bad to worse for the Russian Black Sea Fleet lately, as its warships and submarines and facilities have taken hits, some devastating.
On Friday, Russia's Ministry of Defense said on the social media platform Telegram the fleet's headquarters in Sevastopol was damaged by a Ukrainian missile. Videos shared online by Russian state media and multiple OSINT platforms showed heavy smoke and flames coming from the building.
—NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 22, 2023
The Ministry of Defense said via Telegram that it shot down five missiles with air-defense systems, but the headquarters nonetheless sustained damage. It also confirmed that one soldier was killed in the attack. Photos circulating Friday afternoon showed the impact from the purported missile strike, indicating major structural damage.
—Jimmy Rushton (@JimmySecUK) September 22, 2023
The hit is the latest in a recent series of blows to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.
Last week, the force's strategic naval base and shipyard — also in Sevastopol along the coast of the occupied Crimean peninsula — was bombarded with cruise missiles, damaging two warships and surrounding facilities. One vessel was a landing ship, and the other was the attack submarine Rostov-on-Don, both of which were undergoing repairs and maintenance at the time.
Photos obtained by the Conflict Intelligence Team — an open-source intelligence operation — and shared by OSINT platforms like Oryx, showed the Kilo-class sub, a formidable element of the Black Sea Fleet, with a large hole in along the waterline. An expert told Insider the photos appeared to show substantial damage to the Rostov that was "bad enough to make the submarine a total loss."
—Oryx (@oryxspioenkop) September 18, 2023
According to Oryx's website, which keeps tally of Russian ships taken out by Ukraine in the war, it's Moscow's first recorded submarine loss since its full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Another ship, the landing vessel Minsk, was also hit in the missile strike. Although unconfirmed, observers and reports speculate that Ukraine has been using Western-made Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG long-range cruise missiles to hit targets in Sevastopol.
Beyond these attacks — which experts previously told Insider were "potentially a major strategic blow" to Russia and "all orchestrated as part of a sophisticated, multi-domain counteroffensive" that also would make Crimea "untenable" for their forces — Ukraine's fleet of unmanned surface vessels (UAVs) have been terrorizing Russian naval ships across the Black Sea.
—Dara Massicot (@MassDara) September 22, 2023
Recent drone boat attacks include major damage to a warship that Russia apparently didn't see coming, engagements with other vessels, and a hit on a key bridge connecting Russian mainland to Crimea, providing logistic and travel support.
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