Russia’s Black Sea Fleet conducts rocket launcher exercises in Crimea: Governor

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Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is conducting navy exercises using rocket launchers off Sevastopol, the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said on Sunday.

“Loud sounds in the area of the Northern Pier - this is the Black Sea Fleet conducting exercises using rocket launchers. Everything is calm in the city,” Razvozhayev said on Telegram.

Russia's Black Sea Fleet is primarily based in the port city of Sevastopol, located on the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea. Russia’s Navy launches countless drone and missile attacks on Ukraine using the fleet.

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A UK intelligence update said on Saturday: “Since suffering a series of strikes in August and September, the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) has highly likely doubled down on its defensive and reactive posture. It has relocated many of its prestige assets – including cruise missile capable ships and submarines – from Sevastopol to operating and basing areas further east, such as Novorossiysk.”

It added: “Since July 2022, Ukraine has gained the initiative in the northwest Black Sea, forcing the powerful BSF to defend itself from uncrewed surface vessels (USVs), uncrewed air vehicles (UAVs) and missile attacks as well as special operations. With notable and embarrassing exceptions, however, the BSF has mostly continued to train, maintain and defend itself whilst launching cruise missiles into Ukraine. It can almost certainly continue to do so from the eastern Black Sea.”

The British intelligence report highlighted: “Despite the BSF’s largely intact capabilities, there is only a realistic possibility of it using its conventional superiority in firepower to seize the initiative in the Western Black Sea. The risk of further military losses and the dire political consequences of Russian naval forces overtly attacking merchant shipping would highly likely outweigh any gain from attempting to enforce a blockade of Ukrainian-bound trade.”

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