Armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, the submarines of Russian Black Sea fleet have played a crucial role in Moscow's ongoing 'special military operation' in Ukraine (File image courtesy: Russian Defence Ministry)
As Ukraine continues to make desperate attempts to land air and sea assaults on Zmeiny (Snake) Island which is highly important for controlling the northwestern part of the Black Sea, it is being reported that Russia has moved all of its active submarines into the region.
Russia has six Varshavyanka-class submarines (NATO name: Improved Kilo-class) in its Black Sea Fleet (BSF) operating from its submarine base in Crimea's Sevastopol.
Krym.Realii, the Crimean project of the Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty, reported that currently the South Bay of Sevastopol, the berths where submarines usually dock, remains empty.
Armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, these submarines have played a significant role in the Russian attack on Ukraine territory from Black Sea by also providing support to ground forces in the coastal areas.
The Russian defence ministry has, during the course of its 'special military operation', released videos of high-precision cruise missiles being launched by its forces in the Black Sea against Ukraine’s military infrastructure.
The latest offensive comes after Russia lost Moskva, the Atlant-class guided missile cruiser which was also the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet and also landing ship Saratov.
However, the British defence ministry had reported a few weeks ago that Russia's Black Sea Fleet still retains the ability to strike Ukrainian and coastal targets as approximately 20 Russian Navy vessels are currently in the Black Sea operational zone, including submarines.
It said that with the Bosporus Strait remaining closed to all non-Turkish warships, Russia is unable to replace its lost cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea.
(Image courtesy: UK Ministry of Defence Twitter/@DefenceHQ)
Meanwhile, Moscow has hit back at Kyiv's claims of striking another Russian Black Sea fleet ship, the Vsevolod Bobrov logistics vessel.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs, had claimed that week that Vsevolod Bobrov had been set on fire after being hit by the Ukrainians and is "limping toward Sevastopol".
But the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet said on its social media channels that Bobrov is intact and uploaded photographs of the ship anchored safely in Sevastopol without any noticeable damage.