Russia has blamed the United Kingdom for the drone attack on its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. According to the Ministry of Defense, the terrorist act was planned, and the Ukrainian 73rd Special Center for Maritime Operations military troops were trained under the supervision of British specialists based in Ochakovo.
Additionally, according to Russian defence ministry information, officials of this unit of the British Navy were involved in the planning, provision, and execution of the terrorist act in the Baltic Sea on September 26 this year to disrupt the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.
On the same day, the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying that, in light of the Kyiv attack against ships of the Black Sea Fleet and civilian vessels involved in ensuring the security of the “grain corridor,” the Russian side is suspending participation in the implementation of agreements on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports.
Attack on Sevastopol base
On October 29, a dated video was uploaded to the social network that shows the moments of the attack of surface kamikaze drones on ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol Bay. The attack took place in Sevastopol Bay. The footage shows the drones floating above the surface rather than underwater. They chased the Russian ships, which tried to conceal or escape the attack, but the drone could catch up to and pass each ship. It is also obvious that the drone could continue its operation despite the machine gun fire directed at it.
Based on the footage, there is a hypothesis that one of the ships that were attacked was the missile frigate Admiral Grigorovich. On the frames, the silhouette of the ship being assaulted and its superstructure’s primary components are identical to those of the frigate.
It was reported on Russian military Telegram channels that the radar system of the Admiral Makarov frigate was damaged during the drone strike on Sevastopol.
As per the Russians, Kyiv initiated an attack on the Black Sea Fleet and civilian ships on the outer and inner roadsteads of Sevastopol on Saturday, October 29. There were nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven autonomous maritime drones participating. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, all aviation targets were destroyed by forces from the Black Sea Fleet ships.
In the course of repelling a Ukrainian attack on Sevastopol’s outer roadstead, four unmanned marine vehicles were destroyed using Black Sea Fleet naval weaponry and naval aircraft, while three more devices were eliminated on the inner roadstead. According to Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, an official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, the naval minesweeper Ivan Golubets and a bonnet barrier in Yuzhnaya Bay suffered minor damage.
Following the successful defence against the assault, the destroyed marine drones were brought to the surface for inspection. An investigation into navigation modules manufactured in Canada and placed on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) was carried out by experts from the Russian Ministry of Defense and representatives from other government ministries.
Through the grain corridor
According to the defence ministry’s statement, the information extracted from the navigation receiver’s memory showed that the launch of unmanned marine vehicles was carried out from the coast close to the city of Odessa. After moving along the security zone of the “grain corridor,” marine drones altered their course and went toward Sevastopol. The beginning point in the marine security zone of the “grain corridor” in the Black Sea is shown by the coordinates of the movement of one of the maritime UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).
According to the assessment of experts cited by the Ministry of Defense, the devices might have been launched from aboard one of the civilian ships that were “chartered by Kyiv or its Western clients for the export of agricultural products.”
Sevastopol was already on alert
On multiple occasions, the local authorities in Sevastopol have reported drone assaults. For instance, an air defence system was utilised on October 19 to assist in the destruction of a drone flying in the area of the Belbek airfield on the northern side of the city. A piece of the debris fell on a residential building that was owned by a private company, which started a fire. No harm was done.
According to Mikhail Razvozhaev, the governor of the city, there were no injuries caused by the attack on the Balaklava TPP that took place on October 27. The drone caused only minor damage to the transformer.
Since October 19, in accordance with an order issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sevastopol has been operating in a medium response mode. The city currently has a yellow terrorism danger level. The latter stipulates a number of steps, including measures to bolster the protection of public order, a special regime for entry and exit, the operation of transport, communications, and energy infrastructure, car inspections, and more.