“Vasily Bekh” was destroyed by Harpoon: what kind of ship of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation is it and why is its destruction important

The destruction of the tug “Vasily Bekh” is much more important than it might seem at first glance.

Tug "Vasily Bekh"
Tug “Vasily Bekh”

The rescue tug of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation “Vasily Bekh” was destroyed by the impact of two Harpoon anti-ship missiles near the Zmeiny Island captured by the Russians. This ship performed the tasks of transporting ammunition, weapons and personnel.

It is interesting that for the freelance strengthening of air defense, the land-based anti-aircraft missile system “Tor” was placed on it, which the Russians began to chain to their ships.


Why the destruction of the tug “Vasily Bekh” is more important than it seems

After the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already destroyed the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser “Moskva” and sunk the large landing ship “Saratov”, it is somehow illogical to brag about the destruction of the tugboat. But the point here is not the destruction of the vessel, but the fact that this is only the beginning of the implementation of the operation to create the so-called access ban zone in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.

Thanks to the Harpoon coastal missile systems already deployed in Ukraine and whose replenishment is expected in the near future, it became possible not to save anti-ship missiles, which were previously only in limited quantities for the domestic Neptune complex. And now it is quite possible to strike at objects such as tugs or landing craft.

Their destruction is of great importance due to the fact that it is on them that the Russian Federation carries fuel and ammunition to the captured Snake Island. After all, the enemy is trying to create an outpost from Serpentine , placing anti-aircraft, and possibly coastal defense facilities there. But no matter how much equipment is placed there, first of all it needs fuel, without which it will turn into scrap metal.

In this situation, Serpentine for the Russian Federation turns into a suitcase without a handle. Resources will be spent on organizing its support, their ships will be destroyed, therefore, large forces and even more resources that could be used in other sectors of the front will be attracted to cover them. Even the evacuation of everything that was brought to the island will require a separate operation.

Tug “Vasily Bekh”

At the same time, there are not so many such support vessels in the Black Sea Fleet. There were only six such rescue tugs of Project 22870, which included Vasily Bekh, in the Russian Federation, four in the Black Sea Fleet, and two more in the Caspian Flotilla.

These vessels are designed to assist emergency ships and rescue personnel, tow ships and vessels, extinguish fires, and also provide diving operations at a depth of up to 60 meters. These tugs are far from miniature vessels, their length is 57 meters, width 14 meters, and displacement – 1605 tons. And, most likely, the Russian Federation is forced to use just such emergency tugs due to the fact that they have their own crane equipment.

At the same time, if you look closely at this supposedly ordinary tug, it becomes clear that the loss of even such ships is now critical for the Russian Federation. Because their production is now impossible due to sanctions and technology embargo.

For example, the entire power plant of Project 22870 tugs is Western. Rowing electric motors – German Schorch, propeller-steering columns – Finnish, main diesel generators German-French, etc.

Characteristics of the tug “Vasily Bekh”

  • Displacement – 1200 tons.
  • Maximum length – 57 meters
  • Maximum width – 14 meters
  • Board height amidships – 5.4 meters
  • Speed ​​- 14 knots

(C)UNIAN 2022


  1. Indeed, with enough anti-ship missiles at hand, Snake Island has become a trap for the occupiers and any attempt to supply or even to evacuate it will become very risky business.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “It is interesting that for the freelance strengthening of air defense, the land-based anti-aircraft missile system “Tor” was placed on it, which the Russians began to chain to their ships.”

    Not exactly a good selling point, when the air defense on the ship, ends up at the bottom of the sea with the ship it was supposed to be protecting.

    Liked by 3 people

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