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The Ukrainians hit two Russian landing ships with Storm Shadow missiles

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has informed that in an attack using MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missiles on the occupied Sevastopol, two Russian Project 775 and 775M landing ships were hit.

On Sunday, March 24th, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced on social media that in an aerial attack using MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missiles on the occupied Sevastopol, among others, two Russian Project 775/M landing ships (NATO reporting names: Ropucha/Ropucha-II) were hit: RFS Yamal (156)/BDK-67 and RFS Azov (151)/BDK-54. Apart from the ships, communication facilities and numerous infrastructural objects of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol were also targeted.

During the night of March 23rd to 24th, explosions were heard in Sevastopol starting from 10:00 PM local time. The Crimean Wind channel on Telegram reported probable hits in the area of the former headquarters of the Ukrainian Navy, which is currently occupied by Russian military units.

The OSINTtechnical project reported that at least three Storm Shadow cruise missiles hit the main communication center of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. In the area of possible hits, there were reportedly waterborne units such as small missile boats and border guard units from the FSB. It is also claimed that an oil depot in the village of Hvardiiske in the Simferopol region was hit, resulting in a fire. Three tanks were also reported to have been destroyed by fire.

The international unrecognized Russian governor, Mikhail Razvozhaev, called the attack on Sevastopol the most intense in recent times. He claims that one person was killed and four were injured.

However, the Kremlin Secrets channel on Telegram reports that over 30 Russian soldiers were killed as a result of the attack, and three Su-27 aircraft were also hit at the Belbek airbase: one was destroyed, and two were damaged. Ukrainians also targeted a well-concealed command post in Sevastopol, with over twenty officers present at the time of strike.

RFS Azow (151)/BDK-54 project 775M (NATO reporting name: Ropucha-II) / Photo: George Chernilevsky via Wikimedia Commons

The targeted units were undergoing repairs at the 13th Ship Repair Yard of the Black Sea Fleet (FGUP 13 Sudoremontnyj Zavod Chernomorskogo Flota): RFS Yamal, commissioned on April 30, 1988, had been undergoing repairs since 2018, while RFS Azov, commissioned on October 12, 1990, had been undergoing repairs since 2022. The former was preparing to begin sea trials.

On February 14th of this year, a swarm of Ukrainian unmanned surface vehicles, Magura V5, attacked and sank a twin landing ship, RFS Caesar Kunikov (158)/BDK-64, in the area near southern Crimea. Additionally, on December 26th, 2023, another ship of this design, RFS Novocherkassk (142)/BDK-46, was destroyed using Storm Shadow missiles. Furthermore, during the night of September 12th to 13th, 2023, Ukrainian forces destroyed RFS Minsk (127)/BDK-43 in the shipyard in Sevastopol, and on August 4th, 2023, RFS Olenegorskiy Gornik (012)/BDK-91 was damaged in an attack. In total, 6 ships of this class were incapacitated, with 3 of them being destroyed.

As an interesting fact, it can be added that all ships of the Project 775 were built at the former “Heroes Of Westerplatte” Northern Shipyard in Gdańsk (since 2011 known as Remontowa Shipbuilding). The ships are 112.5 meters long and have a full displacement of 4076 tons.

Saturday’s attack was the second this month targeting the Russian surface fleet. On March 5th, Ukrainian unmanned surface vehicles Magura V5 sank the large project 22160 patrol ship RFS Sergey Kotov. In this year alone, a total of 5 ships have been destroyed or damaged by Ukrainians. In addition to those described, we must also mention the sinking of the small missile boat R-334 Ivanovets (954) belonging to the Project 12411-M Molniya class (NATO reporting name: Tarantul-I) on January 31st.

UPDATE

On Monday, March 25th, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine published details obtained regarding the damage to the RFS Yamal ship.

According to the estimates of Ukrainian military intelligence, the nature of the damage (…) is critical: a hole in the upper deck caused the ship to tilt to the right.

Occupiers are continuously pumping water out of the damaged ship, which was involved in the annexation of Crimea and was under repair from 2017 to 2023.

Further details regarding the aggressor’s losses are being investigated (…) – reads the information from the MOD HUR.

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