Saturday, October 7, 2023

UKRaine 'starting to liberate Crimea' as Black Sea Successes Offset Slow Progress on Land; RUssia Withdraws Black Sea Fleet Vessels From Crimea Base After Ukrainian Attacks; UKR Strikes RU Air Defence Complex Near Belgorod; UKR’s Air Force Launches 20 Strikes on Enemy Targets, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Ukraine 'starting to liberate Crimea' as Black Sea successes offset slow progress on land:
Ukrainian forces raided Crimea and “inflicted fire on the Moscow occupiers,” according to Ukrainian officials, in a campaign to build military pressure on Russia’s forces in the vital occupied peninsula.
"There was a battle with the Russian occupiers; many were killed and wounded among the invaders' personnel,” Ukrainian Defense Intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told a Ukrainian outlet. “Unfortunately, there are losses among Ukrainian defenders too, though these are still not as many as among the Russians.”
Yusov offered that statement after his colleagues released a video that purports to show Ukrainian special forces members riding jet skis to the Crimean coastline. That dovetailed with public indications that Russian naval leaders have been forced to withdraw ships from Sevastopol, the historic home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and the locus of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initial aggression against Ukraine in 2014.
“It's a very good sign [that] we are starting to liberate Crimea,” Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandr Merezhko told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday. “Crimea used to be a symbol of Russian success. And when we are putting this into question, when we are liberating it, it sends a very strong signal that Putin didn't deliver, that he totally failed in his strategy and his policy.”
On the other hand, Russian ships appear to have retreated, according to private-sector satellite imagery analysis and Western officials, in the wake of Ukrainian strikes on their fleet headquarters and dry docks that mangled a Russian attack submarine and landing vessel.
Those developments present a marked contrast with the struggles that Ukrainian forces have faced throughout their summer and fall attempts to break through Russian fortifications in eastern Ukraine. And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s team argues that their various attacks have “a cumulative effect” that will be more apparent as the conflict continues. --->READ MORE HERE
WSJ: Russia Withdraws Black Sea Fleet Vessels From Crimea Base After Ukrainian Attacks
Pullout represents painful setback for the Kremlin, which seized Crimea in 2014
Russia has withdrawn the bulk of its Black Sea Fleet from its main base in occupied Crimea, a potent acknowledgment of how Ukrainian missile and drone strikes are challenging Moscow’s hold on the peninsula.
Russia has moved powerful vessels including three attack submarines and two frigates from Sevastopol to other ports in Russia and Crimea that offer better protection, according to Western officials and satellite images verified by naval experts. The Russian Defense Ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The move represents a remarkable setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose military seizure of Crimea in 2014 marked the opening shots in his attempt to take control of Ukraine. His full-scale invasion of last year has now boomeranged, forcing the removal of ships from a port that was first claimed by Russia in 1783 under Catherine the Great.
The withdrawal from Sevastopol follows a series of strikes by Ukraine in recent weeks that have severely damaged Russian vessels and the fleet’s headquarters.
The immediate military effects of the move are limited, as the ships will still be able to fire cruise missiles on civilian infrastructure such as ports and power grids, naval experts said. Ukraine’s strikes had already broken the fleet’s blockade of Ukrainian ports, denying Russian access to parts of the Black Sea and opening a new corridor for Ukraine to dispatch economically vital grain shipments.
But the withdrawal is a timely boost for Ukraine as its counteroffensive advances more slowly than planned amid heavy losses and political ructions in the U.S. raise questions about funding for Kyiv’s efforts to expel Russian occupying forces.
James Heappey, U.K. minister of state for the armed forces, called the dispersal of the ships “the functional defeat of the Black Sea Fleet” at a conference in Warsaw this week.
Satellite images dated Oct. 1 and provided by Planet Labs showed that the bulk of the naval vessels were moved to Novorossiysk, a Russian port on the Black Sea, said Mikhail Barabanov, a senior analyst at the Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a Moscow-based defense think tank, who reviewed the images. The craft included all three of its operational Kilo-class attack submarines, two guided-missile frigates and one patrol ship. Other vessels, including a large landing ship, a number of small missile ships and new minesweepers were moved to the port of Feodosiya, farther east along the Crimean Peninsula, Barabanov said. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

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