The Russian S-400 “Triumph” surface-to-air missile defense system was destroyed in a “special operation” in the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula.
Ukraine said its forces attacked two Russian patrol ships operating in the Black Sea and destroyed an advanced Triumph surface-to-air missile defense system in Russian-occupied Crimea, with military analysts describing the loss of such equipment as Russia’s “tactical failures.”
The attacks reported on Thursday came a day after Kiev said it had carried out a missile attack that severely damaged a Russian submarine and a naval landing ship that were undergoing repairs at a shipyard in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
In a post on the Telegram messaging app on Thursday, the Ukrainian military said it struck two Russian patrol ships in the southwestern Black Sea region, causing “certain damage” in a morning attack.
“the [Sergei] Kotov was wounded, military intelligence official Andrey Yusov told the Reuters news agency, sharing a grainy video posted online by a Ukrainian government minister that appeared to show naval drones attacking a ship at sea.
Video footage has emerged of a naval drone attack on a Russian warship, presumed to be the Vasiliy Bykov. pic.twitter.com/6L3LDLrY3P
– Nexta (@nexta_tv) September 14, 2023
The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed an attack on the ship Sergei Kotov in a morning statement, but said that the attack, in which five naval drones participated, had been repelled. He did not mention the damage.
The Ukrainian military also said it hit a Russian air defense system in a long-range attack in the early hours of Thursday morning near the town of Yevpatoria in western Crimea.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made particular reference to the Crimean attack in his nightly message to the nation on Thursday.
“Thank you for today’s victory – the destruction of the air defense system of the occupiers on the territory of our Crimean peninsula. This is a very important achievement. Well done!” He said.
“All employees of the Security Service of Ukraine and our Navy should be especially praised for this.”
Today, there are reasons to praise the work of the Ukrainian Security Service, its personnel, and the Ukrainian Navy.
I thank them for today’s victory, which was the destruction of the occupier’s air defense system in Crimea.
A very important result! Glory to everyone who fights for Ukraine! pic.twitter.com/52o83hpmlq
– Volodymyr Zelensky / Video (@ZelenskyyUa) September 14, 2023
A Ukrainian intelligence source said the combat drones first disabled the Russian air defense system by attacking its radar and antenna, and two Neptune cruise missiles were launched and destroyed the defense system’s launch pads.
Footage circulated on social media showed powerful explosions and a column of smoke rising into the night sky, illuminated by flames. Reuters was unable to verify the video.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that its air defenses shot down 11 drones during the night over the peninsula, but did not mention the damage.
A research center based in Washington, D.C., Institute for the Study of War (ISW), The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that reports of the destruction of the Russian S-400 “Triumph” surface-to-air missile system stationed in Crimea in a “special operation” indicate serious issues in Russia’s defense of the occupied peninsula.
“The strike indicates that Russian forces were not prepared to intercept the missiles with the system or were not able to do so,” ISW said.
According to the World War II Institute, Ukrainian forces struck a Russian S-400 air defense system near Olenivka, in Crimea, in late August.
“The second Ukrainian strike on a major Russian air defense system in recent weeks suggests that such tactical failures may reflect a broader systemic problem with Russian air defenses in occupied Crimea,” the research center said.
new: #Ukraine The forces struck A #Russian S-400 “Triumph” air defense system near occupied Yevpatoria #Crimeaon September 14, indicating possible systematic tactical failures of Russian air defense systems in occupied Crimea. (1/3)https://t.co/ashT6ljRSP pic.twitter.com/37VymNN03V
– ISW (@TheStudyofWar) September 15, 2023
The announced location of the attack on the Russian Navy in the Black Sea also indicates that Ukraine has increased its ability to strike Russian targets far from its coast.
While Kiev’s counteroffensive in the south and east has been slowed by Russian minefields and defensive lines, Ukrainian forces have stepped up their attacks in the Black Sea region, where Russia has a virtual blockade on Ukrainian seaborne exports.
Ukraine has increasingly relied on seaborne drones to attack Russian targets, striking the landing ship Oligorsky Gornyak near the Russian naval base in Novorossiysk early last month, as well as a Russian fuel tanker.
Ukraine continues to press ahead with its aggressive counteroffensive, with heavy fighting reported in many parts of the front line, but no major breakthroughs have been made in the three-month-long campaign.
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