On Friday, Russia reported successfully foiling attempted sea and air drone attacks by Ukrainian forces on a naval base in the Black Sea and the Crimean peninsula.
In the past month, the number of attacks at sea has risen from both sides, following Moscow’s withdrawal from a deal that had previously allowed Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea shipping hub during the ongoing conflict between the two nations.
The Russian defense ministry stated that the Armed Forces of Ukraine tried to launch an attack on the Novorossiysk naval base using two unmanned sea boats. However, Russian ships were able to destroy the naval drones, marking the first such attack on the port city.
Novorossiysk, a crucial Black Sea port, serves as the endpoint of a pipeline that handles most of Kazakhstan’s oil exports through Russia. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium, the operator of the fuel artery, confirmed that they were still shipping oil to tankers moored at the terminal despite the situation.
However, due to recent security concerns, the company imposed a temporary ban on ship movements in the port area, as reported by Russian state media and Interfax news agency.
It’s worth noting that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been facing attacks since the start of its military campaign in Ukraine over a year ago, but the frequency of these incidents has increased in recent weeks.
On Tuesday, Russia’s defense ministry announced that it successfully thwarted a Ukrainian drone attack aimed at patrol boats in the Black Sea. The incident occurred approximately 340 kilometers (210 miles) southwest of Sevastopol, the base of Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Crimea. This marked the second attempt in a week that a similar attack had been repelled.
Additionally, the ministry reported that they had intercepted and taken down 13 more drones over the Crimean peninsula on Friday. Fortunately, there were no reported casualties or damages from either attack.
Since its annexation by Russia in 2014, Crimea has been a target of attacks from Kyiv during Moscow’s ongoing military campaign in Ukraine. However, in recent weeks, the region has experienced a noticeable escalation in the frequency and intensity of these attacks.