6 AUGUST 2023
The Ukrainian strikes on Russian naval targets are likely part of a targeted interception campaign aiming to pave the way for a larger counteroffensive, says the Institute for the Study of War in its daily report.
Source: the ISW
Details: A Ukrainian uncrewed surface vessel (USV) struck the Russian Olenegorsky Gornyak Ropukha-class landing ship on the night of 3-4 August. Andrii Yusov, a Ukrainian Defence Intelligence representative, said the damage to the warship was extensive. He suggested that the vessel would be out of action for some time.
The UK MoD reported that the images of the ship indicate that it’s listing at 30-40 degrees, meaning that either a USV strike breached either several watertight compartments or that the crew’s efforts to repair the damage were ineffective. The ministry also reported that the Olenegorsky Gornyak belongs to the Russian Northern Fleet but has recently been moving military and civilian cargo between Russia and occupied Crimea due to the disruption of the Kerch Bridge.
Quote: “Previous Ukrainian interdiction efforts have mainly focused on Russian military targets on land, but it seems that Ukrainian forces are now expanding their efforts to include naval targets as part of these efforts.
Ukrainian officials have repeatedly stated their commitment to a deliberate interdiction campaign against Russian military targets in order to degrade Russian logistics and defensive capabilities to set favorable conditions for future Ukrainian counteroffensive activity.
Ukrainian forces are thus continuing to set conditions for future decisive operations via an interdiction campaign as they did before and during counteroffensive operations in Kharkiv and Kherson oblasts in 2022, now striking much deeper into Russian rear areas and incorporating maritime targets.”
Background: On the evening of 4 August, a USV rammed a Russian tanker in the Kerch Strait.