A Russian S-400 ‘Triumf’ surface-to-air missile defense system was reportedly destroyed in a ‘special operation’ in Russia-aligned Crimea.
Ukraine said its forces attacked two Russian patrol vessels operating in the Black Sea and destroyed a sophisticated “Triumf” surface-to-air missile defense system in Russian-occupied Crimea, with military analysts describing the loss of such equipment as “tactical failures”. Russia.
Thursday’s attacks were reported after Kiev said it launched a missile attack that badly damaged a Russian submarine and a naval landing craft undergoing repairs at a shipyard in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
In a post on the Telegram messaging app on Thursday, Ukraine’s military said it attacked two Russian patrol vessels in the southwestern Black Sea, causing “some damage” in the morning attack.
“The [Sergei] Godov was hit,” military intelligence official Andriy Yusov told Reuters news agency, sharing a grainy video circulated online by a Ukrainian government minister that showed maritime drones attacking a ship at sea.
Footage of a maritime drone attack on a Russian warship, presumably the “Vasily Bykov”, has surfaced. pic.twitter.com/6L3LDLrY3P
— Nexta (@nexta_tv) September 14, 2023
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the attack on the Sergei Godov ship in a morning statement, but said the attack involving five maritime drones had been foiled. It does not mention damage.
Ukraine’s military said it struck a Russian air defense system in a long-range strike early Thursday near the city of Yevpatoria in western Crimea.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made special mention of the Crimean offensive in his evening message to the nation on Thursday.
“Thank you for today’s victory – the air defense system of the invaders on our Crimean land was destroyed. This is a very remarkable achievement. Well done!” he said.
“The Defense Service of Ukraine and the entire staff of our Navy should be especially commended for this.”
Today, there are reasons to appreciate the work of the Defense Service of Ukraine, its personnel and the Ukrainian Navy.
I thank them for today’s victory in destroying the air defense system of the occupier in our Crimea.
A very remarkable result! Glory to all who fight for Ukraine! pic.twitter.com/52o83hpmlq
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Volodymyr Zelensky (@ZelenskyyUa) September 14, 2023
A Ukrainian intelligence source said the aerial combat drones disabled the Russian air defense system by first striking its radar and antenna, and that two Neptune cruise missiles were fired, destroying the defense system’s missiles.
Footage shared on social media showed powerful explosions and a plume of smoke rising into the night sky, lit by flames. Reuters could not verify the video.
Russia’s Defense Ministry shot down 11 drones overnight on its air defense peninsula and did not specify damage.
A Washington, DC-based think tank, Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Thursday’s announcement that a Russian S-400 “Triumf” surface-to-air missile system based in Crimea was destroyed in a “special operation” points to serious problems in Russia’s defense of the occupied peninsula.
“This strike suggests that Russian forces are either unwilling or unable to intercept the missiles with the system,” ISW said.
According to ISW, Ukrainian forces attacked a Russian S-400 air defense system near Olenivka, Crimea, in late August.
“The second Ukrainian strike on a significant Russian air defense system in recent weeks indicates that such tactical failures may reflect a broader systemic problem with Russian air defense in occupied Crimea,” the think tank said.
New: #Ukrainian The forces attacked a #Russian S-400 “Triumf” air defense system near occupied Yevpatoria, #Crimea, on September 14, suggesting that there may be systematic tactical failures with Russian air defense systems in occupied Crimea. (1/3)https://t.co/ashT6ljRSP pic.twitter.com/37VymNN03V
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) September 15, 2023
The location of the attack on the Russian fleet in the Black Sea would mean that Ukraine has increased its ability to strike Russian targets far from its coast.
While Kyiv’s counteroffensive in the south and east has been slowed by mines and Russian defensive lines, Ukrainian forces have stepped up attacks in the Black Sea region, where Russia has imposed a de facto blockade on Ukraine’s seaborne exports.
Ukraine has increasingly relied on maritime drones to attack Russian targets, and earlier last month it struck the landing ship Olenegorsky Kornyak near Russia’s naval base in Novorossiysk and a Russian fuel tanker.
Ukraine continues to press its fierce counterattack with heavy fighting in many areas of the front line, but there have been no significant breakthroughs in the three-month campaign.