Ukraine’s Coordinated Special Operations and Missile Strikes Deal Major Blow to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet

  Recently, Ukrainian news stated that the Ukrainian military launched an attack on the Sevastopol military base in the Crimean Peninsula with 10 missiles and 3 unmanned boats in the early morning of September 13, 2023, resulting in the Sevastopol shipbuilding A fire broke out in the factory, and two ships under repair were damaged. They were the Ropcha-class landing ship “Minsk” of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and the Kilo-class diesel-powered Kilo-class landing ship that cost as much as 300 million US dollars and was put into service in 2014. Submarine “Rostov-on-Don”. Satellite images of the scene showed that the two ships were severely damaged and were extremely difficult and expensive to repair. Considering that such a project was difficult to complete under the wartime system, they basically had to be scrapped.
  Russia also admitted that it was attacked by Ukrainian missiles and that some ships were damaged. The situation announced by both sides basically confirmed the results of this attack. This is the largest loss suffered by the Black Sea Fleet since the sinking of the flagship Moskva after the war between Russia and Ukraine. It also sets a record for the first time in history that a submarine is hit by a missile. What’s even more amazing is that just two days after this attack, Ukraine announced that it had used missiles and drones to attack the S-400 air defense missile system on the Crimean Peninsula. This system has always been considered the strongest in Russia. Currently in active air defense weapons, Turkey even had tense relations with the United States and NATO in order to purchase this system. This time, it was beheaded by Ukraine behind enemy lines in actual combat, which was shocking.
  This round of continuous attacks in the form of a combination of punches was obviously not the result of an accident, but a joint military operation between the Ukrainian intelligence agencies and the Ministry of Defense, in which the actions of the Ukrainian special forces can be said to have played an indispensable role.
  Two days before launching the missile attack, on September 11, the Ukrainian intelligence agency announced that special forces had successfully seized two offshore oil and gas drilling platforms in the Black Sea and successfully removed Russian military facilities on the platforms. The map shows that the two platforms captured by the Ukrainian special forces are about fifty kilometers away from the Crimean coastline. The Russian army has set up air and sea warning radars on them to control the Black Sea area.
  This attack did not attract much attention from domestic public opinion. Some media even believed that it was a political show after Ukraine’s counterattack failed, because the battle to seize the two platforms was not fierce and did not have much military value. However, in my opinion, the battle to seize the sea platform is the prelude to this attack, because Ukraine does not have stealth fighter equipment that can penetrate the enemy’s air defense network, so it must try to shorten the reaction time of the opponent’s air defense weapons, and these two This platform happens to be Russia’s peripheral observation point.
  Before the start of the 2003 Iraq War, the U.S. military used special forces to successfully seize three Iraqi offshore drilling platforms in the Persian Gulf. On the one hand, the main purpose was to remove Iraq’s eyeliners in the Persian Gulf, and on the other hand, it was to prevent Iraq from becoming like the Gulf. Dumping oil into the Persian Gulf like during the war polluted the environment.
  During the operation that year, in addition to the British and American special forces, the Polish Thunder Special Task Force also assumed the offensive mission of a platform. This kind of battle to seize a maritime platform is referred to as VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seize) in the field of special operations. VBSS tasks are often only capable of elite maritime special operations units. The reason why such operations are complex is that they involve moving from the water to the sea. Combat maneuvers that go down to the water surface, and also include indoor combat at extremely close range. It not only requires a large amount of pre-war reconnaissance, but also requires a large amount of targeted actual combat training by operational units before they can make up their minds to implement it. This kind of maritime point-taking operation generally cannot be just a political statement mission, because the risks and costs are too high.
  It can be seen from the missile attack two days later that Ukraine’s action to seize the Black Sea drilling platform is only part of its huge action plan. In fact, the follow-up actions are the key to victory. After the submarine and landing ship were attacked by missiles, Ukraine launched a missile attack one day later. The battle rhythm seemed not compact enough. But in fact, the U.S. special forces did not delay after seizing the platform. Another attack team quietly landed on the Crimean Peninsula under the cover of night, approached the submarines and landing ships in the shipyard, and used thermal imaging Shoot it from multiple angles. After the attack, these latent special operations personnel conducted reconnaissance and assessment of the bombing effects before quietly withdrawing.
  Because air-launched missile attacks involve issues of incident angle, a three-dimensional image of the target needs to be constructed, and its radar information or thermal imaging information needs to be confirmed, all of which require multi-angle technical reconnaissance. The United States may be able to rely on its powerful satellite and reconnaissance aircraft platforms for reconnaissance. For Ukraine, which lacks technical reconnaissance means, using special forces or covert operators to conduct close reconnaissance is a good alternative. And even for a country like the United States with strong technical reconnaissance capabilities, close-in reconnaissance by special forces is still one of the optional methods. For example, during the Gulf War, the United States sent multiple special operations teams into Iraq in order to find Iraqi Scud missiles. Conduct close reconnaissance from the rear. In addition, for collecting the signal characteristics of enemy air defense weapons, deploying special operations personnel for close detection is also a very feasible method, because with only a set of signal receivers, these lurking personnel can obtain the spectrum information of surrounding warning radars for a long time , and can also obtain more comprehensive signal intelligence.
  Many people believe that the emergence of drones can replace special operations personnel, but in fact it is people, not machines, who win wars. Only when the quality of people matches the technical means can we defeat powerful opponents.

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