Ukraine’s Neptune Cruise Missile Strikes Destroyed Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Housing Complex, Russian Black Sea Fleet Untenable

Ruins of Black Sea Fleet's housing complex.

A photo published in the aftermath of a Ukrainian strike on annexed Crimea purportedly shows the ruins of a facility used by President Vladimir Putin’s prized Black Sea Fleet.

Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk announced on Tuesday that Kyiv’s forces struck an ammunition depot on the Black Sea peninsula on July 1.

“Once again, Ukrainian aircraft, ‘destroyed’ by enemy propaganda, continue to successfully carry out combat missions, launch missile and bomb strikes on occupier positions and eliminate important military facilities deep in the enemy’s rear,” said Oleshchuk. “On July 1, 2024, Ukrainian pilots delivered a crushing blow to an ammunition depot in Crimea.”

Attacks on Crimea have ramped up throughout Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, as Kyiv looks to reclaim the region annexed by Moscow in 2014.

The Telegram channel Spy Dossier, which has over 50,000 subscribers and claims to have links to Russian intelligence, published a photo on Tuesday, saying Ukrainian missiles struck an “object” of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Cape Fiolent, in Crimea’s port city of Sevastopol.

The translation for the unspecified “object” can mean both an object and a facility.

“The attack was carried out using cruise missiles of an unknown type. The target of the attack was a warehouse with the Shahed-136/Geran-2 UAV,” the channel said. “There is no information on losses among personnel.”

Ukraine has been increasingly targeting Russia’s Black Sea Fleet as part of its push to reclaim the peninsula.

Russia has relocated some of its prized Black Sea Fleet vessels from its port in Crimea to avoid further losses following successful Ukrainian drone and cruise missile strikes.

Satellite images from last October showed that Russia’s fleet was fleeing from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk in Krasnodar Krai in southern Russia as Ukraine targeted Moscow’s vessels. Ships were also heading to the Russian naval port in Feodosia further east on the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

More recent satellite images from April, shared by open-source intelligence OSINT researcher MT Anderson, appear to show that the Black Sea Fleet has largely abandoned its major Crimean naval bases.

Dmytro Pletenchuk, formerly Ukrainian Navy spokesperson and now spokesman for Ukraine’s South Defence Forces, said in March that Kyiv’s “ultimate goal is complete absence of military ships of the so-called Russian Federation in the Azov and Black Sea regions.”

A third of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has so far been disabled, he told Ukrainian outlet RBC last month.

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