The Ukrainian military has detected nine Russian warships on combat alert off the coast of Crimea. Photo/Russian Ministry of Defense/Handout via REUTERS
CRIMEA – Nine warships Russia , two of which are missile carriers, are on combat alert off the coast of Crimea. The existence of these military ships was revealed by the media Ukraine Ukrinform, on Sunday (19/3/2023).
On March 18, the Ukrainian Navy claimed to have spotted 14 Russian warships off the coast of Crimea, four of which were missile carriers. It is unclear whether they are all combat-ready.
The report cited Ukrainian spokeswoman for the Southern Operations Command (OCS) Natalia Humeniuk.
Humeniuk said the Russian Navy ships were more than 100 nautical miles from the Ukrainian arsenal, meaning Kiev forces had so far been unable to engage the ships.
In February, 18 Russian warships were reportedly destroyed by Ukrainian forces since the beginning of the invasion.
“Currently, nine warships from across the Naval group were spotted in the Black Sea, including two missile carriers. It is a missile carrier which can be armed with 16 Kalibr missiles,” said Humeniuk.
“(Russian troops) are constantly looking for tactics that will prove effective because a massive missile strike is not a successful practice, tactic or something that will inspire even those units that have not seen success on the battlefield,” he said.
On March 16, 2014, Crimea and Sevastopol held referendums for their citizens. This vote gave people two choices: join Russia or restore Crimea’s 1992 constitution which, in turn, would make Crimea a de facto independent part of Ukraine.
According to Russia, there are 83% of the electorate in Crimea and 89% of the electorate in Sevastopol. Also according to them, the majority in both regions (about 95-97%) voted to join Russia.
The international community has suspicions about the authenticity of the electoral vote and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to restore Ukrainian rule over Crimea.
The majority of Crimea’s population, according to the 2014 census, are ethnic Russians (about 68%), with 84% speaking Russian as their mother tongue.
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