Mine Scare In The Black Sea

Mine damage on Musca class minesweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu. Photo: Dobrogea TV

On 8 September 2022, a Romanian ship reported a floating mine approximately 25 nautical miles northeast of Constanta harbour. The mine is believed to be one of the mines laid during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Romanian Naval Forces deployed Musca class minesweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu to destroy the mine. However, when the minesweeper arrived at the site the weather and sea conditions worsened. With a wind speed of 10 – 12 m/s and wave height of 1.5 – 2 meters, the minesweeper was not able to deploy the RHIB with the EOD team on board. At night the mine swept through the storm and hit the ship on her astern port side.

According to Romanian Naval Forces, the detonation created a small hole, at the water line. The damage appears to be limited though there had been some ingress through the hole. the 75-strong crew on board has not suffered any injuries.

The minesweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu returned to her homeport Constanta with the help of the navy tugs Grozavul and Viteazu, that provided assistance and research against the mines.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine 30 mines have been found and destroyed in the Black Sea. Here is the list of them

Date Mines Location Country Action
26.03.2022 1 Anchorage area Türkeli north of Bosphorus Turkey Turkish navy EOD teams dragged the mine to their Exercise area near the northern entrance of the Bosphorus and destroyed it.
28.03.2022 1 Off the shore of İğneada town Turkey Turkish navy EOD teams neutralised the mine in location.
28.03.2022 1 39 nautical miles off the Black Sea, across from Capu Midia Romania Romanian navy EOD teams neutralised the mine in location.
6.04.2022 1 Off the shore of Kefken town Turkey Turkish navy EOD teams neutralised the mine in location.
6.04.2022 1 Crimean shore Russia Mine washed ashore on an unspecified Crimean beach.
30.06.2022 1 27 nautical miles east of the mouth of the Kamchia river Bulgaria Bulgarian naval EOD team neutralised the mine in location.
31.07.2022 1 2 nautical miles off Eforie town Romania Romanian navy EOD teams neutralised the mine in location.
8.09.2022 1 25 nautical miles northeast of Constanta harbour Romania Romanian Navy mine sweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu was damaged when the mine could not be neutralised by EOD teams due to bad weather
1.07.2022 22 Ukrainian coast Ukraine 20 mines were destroyed by Ukrainian forces. Locations and dates are unknown.

As always any corrections or additions to the list above are welcomed.

Ships Lost, Damaged Or Seized During The Russian Invasion of Ukraine (Part 3)

It’s been six months since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. I have been trying to keep a list the of damage and losses to the ships, since the start of the invasion.

The list below is the list of the ships that have been damaged, sunk or seized since 24 February 2022.

I welcome any additions, changes or corrections.

Date Ship Type Country Event and Location Losses
24.02.2022 Yasa Jupiter Civilian merchant ship Marshall Island Damage by an airstrike, off the coast of Odessa No losses
25.02.2022 Millennial Spirit Civilian merchant ship Moldovia Damage from artillery fire by Russian warships 12nm off Yuzny port 2 injured
26.02.2022 Namura Queen Civilian merchant ship Panama Damage by an airstrike, location unknown 1 injured
26.02.2022 Sapfir Civilian merchant ship Ukraine Seized by the Russians on Snake Island No losses
1.03.2022 Anonim Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
1.03.2022 Anonim Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
3.03.2022 Banglar Samriddhi Civilian merchant ship Ukraine Airstrike near Yuzny Unknown
3.03.2022 Slovyansk Island Patrol boat Bangladesh Damage by a missile hit near Olvia port 1 dead
4.03.2022 Helt Civilian merchant ship Panama Claimed to have been struck by a mine off the coast of Odessa No losses
4.03.2022 Hetman Sahaydachniy Krivak III class frigate Ukraine Scuttled at the pier by her own crew in Mykolaiv No losses
14.03.2022 Akkerman Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Arabat Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-108 Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-14 UMS 1000 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-24 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-308 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-310 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-311 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Korets Sorum class tug Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Vyshhorod Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
21.03.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit with an anti-tank missile, in the Sea of Azov, towed back Unknown
24.03.2022 Novocherkassk Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire; sank in Berdiansk port Unknown
24.03.2022 Ruşen Mete Civilian merchant ship Russia Explosion and fire damage in Berdiansk port 8 injured
24.03.2022 Saratov Alligator class LST Russia Explosion and fire damage in Berdiansk port 3 dead, 2 injured
24.03.2022 Tsezar Kunikov Ropucha class LST Sierra Leone Fire damage from the explosion in Berdiansk port Unknown
30.03.2022 Preyaslav Project 1824B intelligence vessel Ukraine Ukrainian intelligence vessel, hit by Russian special forces and artillery, in Dyneper River Unknown
5.04.2022 Azburg Civilian merchant ship Dominican Republic Hit by Russian artillery in Mariupol harbour, sunk. 1 injured
6.04.2022 Donbas Amur class repair ship Ukraine Hit by Russian artillery in Mariupol harbour. Unknown
9.04.2022 Apache Civilian merchant ship Malta Hit by Ukrainian artillery in Mariupol harbour. No losses
10.04.2022 Kremenchuk Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Mariupol No losses
11.04.2022 Smata Civilian merchant ship Liberia Seized by the Russians in the port of Mariupol No losses
13.04.2022 BG-22 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 BG-23 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 Donbas Tarantul class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 Moskva Slava class cruiser Russia Hit by anti-ship missiles, burned and sunk under tow At least 39
15.04.2022 Lubnia Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
15.04.2022 Meotida Damen TSHD 750 Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
18.04.2022 Tzarevna Civilian merchant ship Malta Hit by artillery in Mariupol harbour Unknown
2.05.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
2.05.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
4.05.2022 Serna LCM Project 11770 LCM Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
4.05.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
4.05.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
1.06.2022 Brentix Civilian merchant ship Tanzania Hit by artillery in Ochakov harbour Unknown
4.06.2022 Vinnytsia Grisha class corvette Ukraine Sunk/scuttled in Ochakov harbour. Not in use since January 2021. Unknown
17.06.2022 Spasatel Vasily Bekh Project 22870 tug Russia Hit by two anti-ship missiles 10 death, 23 injured
29.06.2022 D-106 Project 1176 LCM Russia Hit a mine off the coast of Mariupol and sunk Unknown
6.07.2022 Millennial Spirit Civilian merchant ship Moldovia Hit again by Russian missiles when drifting abandoned No losses

Ships Lost, Damaged Or Seized During The Russian Invasion of Ukraine (Part 2)

I have been trying to keep a list the of damage and losses to the ships, since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,

The list below is the list of the ships that have been damaged, sunk or seized since 24 February 2022.

A photo from the good days of Moskva. This image was taken in January 2016. This was the last time I have seen this ship

Date Ship Type Country Event and Location Losses
24.02.2022 Yasa Jupiter Civilian merchant ship Marshall Island Damage by an airstrike, off the coast of Odessa No losses
25.02.2022 Millennial Spirit Civilian merchant ship Moldovia Damage from artillery fire by Russian warships 12nm off Yuzny port 2 injured
26.02.2022 Namura Queen Civilian merchant ship Panama Damage by an airstrike, location unknown 1 injured
26.02.2022 Sapfir Civilian merchant ship Ukraine Seized by the Russians on Snake Island No losses
1.03.2022 Anonim Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
1.03.2022 Anonim Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
3.03.2022 Banglar Samriddhi Civilian merchant ship Bangladesh Airstrike near Yuzny Unknown
3.03.2022 Slovyansk Island Patrol boat Ukraine Damage by a missile hit near Olvia port 1 dead
4.03.2022 Helt Civilian merchant ship Panama Claimed to have been struck by a mine off the coast of Odessa No losses
4.03.2022 Hetman Sahaydachniy Krivak III class frigate Ukraine Sunk at the pier by her own crew in Mykolaiv No losses
14.03.2022 Akkerman Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Arabat Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-108 Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-14 UMS 1000 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-24 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-308 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-310 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-311 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Korets Sorum class tug Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Vyshhorod Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
21.03.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit with an anti-tank missile, in the Sea of Azov, towed back Unknown
24.03.2022 Novocherkassk Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire; damage in Berdiansk port Unknown
24.03.2022 Ruşen Mete Civilian merchant ship Sierra Leone Fire damage from the explosion in Berdiansk port 8 injured
24.03.2022 Saratov Alligator class LST Russia Explosion and fire sank in Berdiansk port 3 dead, 2 injured
24.03.2022 Tsezar Kunikov Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire; damage in Berdiansk port Unknown
30.03.2022 Preyaslav Project 1824B intelligence vessel Ukraine Ukrainian intelligence vessel, hit by Russian special forces and artillery, in Dyneper River Unknown
5.04.2022 Azburg Civilian merchant ship Dominica Hit by Russian artillery in Mariupol harbour. 1 injured
6.04.2022 Donbas Amur class repair ship Ukraine Hit by Russian artillery in Mariupol harbour, sunk Unknown
9.04.2022 Apache Civilian merchant ship Malta Hit by Ukrainian artillery in Mariupol harbour. No losses
10.04.2022 Kremenchuk Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Mariupol No losses
13.04.2022 BG-22 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 BG-23 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 Donbas Tarantul class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 Moskva Slava class cruiser Russia Hit by anti-ship missiles, burned and sunk under tow At least 39

I welcome any additions, changes or corrections.

Ships Lost, Damaged Or Seized During The Russian Invasion of Ukraine (Part 1)

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I have been trying to keep a list the of damage and losses to the ships.

The list below is the list of the ships that have been damaged, sunk or seized during the first month of the war.

Date Ship Type Country Event and Location Losses
24.02.2022 Yasa Jupiter Civilian merchant ship Marshall Island Damage by an airstrike, off the coast of Odessa No losses
25.02.2022 Millennial Spirit Civilian merchant ship Moldovia Damage from gun fire by Russian warships 12nm off Yuzny port 2 injured
26.02.2022 Namura Queen Civilian merchant ship Panama Damage by an airstrike, location unknown 1 injured
26.02.2022 Sapfir Civilian search and rescue ship Ukraine Seized by the Russians on Snake Island No losses
1.03.2022 Raptor boat Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
1.03.2022 Raptor boat Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
3.03.2022 Slovyansk Island Patrol boat Ukraine Airstrike near Yuzny Unknown
3.03.2022 Banglar Samriddhi Civilian merchant ship Bangladesh Damage by a missile hit near Olvia port 1 dead
4.03.2022 Hetman Sahaydachniy Krivak III class frigate Ukraine Sunk at the pier by her own crew in Mykolaiv No losses
4.03.2022 Helt Merchant ship Panama Claimed to have been struck by a mine off the coast of Odessa No losses
14.03.2022 BG-14 UMS1000 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-24 UMS-1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-311 Aist class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-310 Aist class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-118 Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Akkerman Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Vyshhorod Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Korets Sorum class tug Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
21.03.2022 Raptor boat Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit with an anti-tank missile, in the Sea of Azov, towed back Unknown
24.03.2022 Saratov Alligator class LST Russia Explosion and fire; sank in Berdiansk port Unknown
24.03.2022 Tsezar Kunikov Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire damage in Berdiansk port 8 injured
24.03.2022 Novocherkassk Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire damage in Berdiansk port 3 dead, 2 injured

I welcome any additions, changes or corrections.

 

The Kerch Incident

Russia seized three Ukrainian naval vessels on 25th November 2018 Sunday and escalated the feud between two countries to the next level.

The Ukrainian trio – Gurza-M class gunboats P-175 Berdyansk, P-176 Nikopol and the tug A-947 Yana Kapu – set sail from Odessa and was destined to Berdyansk by the Azov Sea.

The Azov Sea is a large and shallow part of the Black Sea shared by Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Access from the Black Sea is through the Kerch Strait.

In 2003 the –then friendly – Russian Federation and Ukraine signed a treaty cooperation in the use of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. According to this treaty merchant ships and warships, as well as other state ships flying the flag of the Russian Federation or Ukraine, operated for non-commercial purposes, enjoy the freedom of navigation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.

Before the occupation of Crimea, the Kerch Strait was separating Ukraine from Russia. Now both side of the strait is controlled by the Russian Federation. And this control enables Russia to decide who can pass through the Strait and who cannot. In the last couple of months, the Russian Federation has started to delay merchant ships in the Azov Sea, by detaining and inspecting them if their destination is a Ukrainian port. These legal but abusive inspections delay the ships at least 2 or 3 days.  European Parliament stated that Russia detained at least 120 vessels that flown the EU flag since April and not allowed them to proceed to Ukrainian ports. These arbitrary and unnecessary long inspections hurt the Ukrainian economy very much.

In the recent months, Russia has moved naval units from its Caspian and the Black Sea Fleets to the Azov Sea. As a counter move, Ukraine decided to reinforce its naval assets in the region. In early September Ukraine deployed two Gurza-M class gunboats. But instead sailing through the Kerch Strait they were moved on a truck by road. Thus Russia was not in a position to prevent this movement. Furthermore, Ukraine sends on 24th September the Amur class warships, A-500 Donbas and the tug A-830 Korets again through the Kerch Strait. During that deployment, the tug was towing the other ship.

However this time Ukraine decided to send the gunboats by sea instead of by land. This was not a decision out of nautical necessities.

The Russians tried to stop the Ukrainian ships. A video made from the bridge of Russian Sorum class Coast Guard vessel Don shows how the ship shouldered the Ukrainian tug Yana Kapu. The video does not show however how Don collided with the other Russian Coast Guard vessel Izumrud and created a hole on her superstructure.

Izumrud later opened fire with her AK-630 multi-barreled 30mm gun to the gunboat Berdyansk. The photos circulation on social media clearly shows the bullet hole on this boat. Later Russian special forces boarded the vessels and seized them.

In the aftermath of the incident, Russians flew the Ukrainians to Moscow. But before that, some of the Ukrainian sailors had to appear in front of the TV cameras to be forced to read some kind of made up confessions.

Ukraine pleaded help from the West and asked NATO to send warships to the Sea of Azov. People with enough geographical knowledge quickly realized that Azov Sea was too shallow to accommodate any NATO warship big enough to make a statement and armed enough to protect herself properly. Such a warship would not be able to pass under the Kerch Bridge that has only 33 meters clearance.

Ukraine also demanded Turkey to close Turkish Straits to Russian warships. Ihor Voronchenko, Commander of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, at the II International Conference on Maritime Security in Kiev, said that Ukraine intends to appeal to the international community to strengthen sanctions against Russia in connection with its aggressive actions in the Sea of Azov and to close the Bosporus Strait for vessels of the Russian Federation according to the 19th paragraph of the Convention of Montreux.

According to Article 19 of Montreux Convention, in time of war, Turkey not being belligerent, warships shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation through the Straits under the same conditions as those laid down in Article 10 to 18. Vessels of war belonging to belligerent Powers shall not, however, pass through the Straits except in cases arising out of the application of Article 25 of the present Convention, and in cases of assistance rendered to a State victim of aggression in virtue of a treaty of mutual assistance binding-Turkey, concluded within the framework of the Covenant of the League of Nations, and registered and published in accordance with the provisions of Article 18 of the Covenant…

The obvious problem here is, that there is no openly declared war between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.  And neither of these two nations is going to change the status quo, by declaring one. Turkey will not close the Straits and will keep them open for any nation. Turkey also will try to lessen the tensions in the Black Sea through indirect mediation.

By sending the gunboats and the tug, Ukraine challenged the Russian position, that the Kerch Strait was a Russian inner waterway, and showed that it hasn’t recognized, the unilateral Russian change to the 2003 agreement. Ukraine has also managed to bring the problems it faces in the Azov Sea to the worldwide public attention. But has lost a third of her Gurza-M class gunboats which are much needed to strengthen the Ukrainian Navy

On the other hand, Russia revealed that it prefers to confront Ukrainian armed forces without proxies rather than putting its assumed ownership on the Kerch Strait and demonstrated that it was ready physically block the Strait at all costs.

Vietnamese Warship Sighted


The Dutch-flagged heavy load carrier M/V Rolldock Star made a short stop in Istanbul on 16 September 2017. She has departed from Novorossiysk, Russia and is on her way to Vietnam. Her cargo is the first ship of the second batch of Gepard class frigates Vietnam has ordered.

In 2012 Vietnam has ordered a pair of additional Gepard 3.9 class frigates from Gorky Shipyard in Zelenodolsk. The second batch is different as they are optimized for ASW role and have 533mm torpedo tubes, the first two pair lack.

Gepard 3.9 is the export class of the 11661E class patrol ship. She is 102 m long, 2,200 tons displacement, 103 crew members, a maximum speed of 23 knots, 9200 km operating range.

The warship is not named yet and has the temporary pennant number of 486.

Turkish Navy Conducting Simultaneous Port Visits In 5 Countries

TCG Oruçreis arrives in Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev.

10 Turkish warships are conducting port visits in 5 different ports, in 5 different countries.

The long needed rest came after the end of the first phase of naval exercise Deniz Yıldızı 2017. The exercise has started on 27 March and will end on 7 April.

Of course the small size of the Black Sea helps. But Turkey is the only Black Sea nation that can perform such a diplomatic show of force. It is not a small event to do port visits in 5 different nations at the same time.

This is the list of the ships doing port visits. Most of them  will be open for public to visit.

Name Type Port Country
TCG Oruçreis Frigate Varna Bulgaria
TCG Tuzla Patrol Boat Varna Bulgaria
TCG Kalkan Fast Attack Craft Batumi Georgia
TCG Yıldırım Frigate Batumi Georgia
TCG Turgutreis Frigate Constanta Romania
TCG Yıldız Fast Attack Craft Constanta Romania
TCG Büyükada Corvette Novorossiysk Russia
TCG Barbaros Frigate Novorossiysk Russia
TCG Heybeliada Corvette Odessa Ukraine
TCG Gaziantep Frigate Odessa Ukraine

Syrian Express Deployments Taking Toll On Russian Ships?

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Russian landing ship Azov, last seen on 19th February 2016 making a northbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Turkish maritime news portal Deniz Haber Ajansı ran a story about the Russian naval exercise scheduled in the Black Sea. According to the news Russian Navy has to cancel at least the amphibious landing part of the exercise due to the fact that Ropucha class landing ships Azov and Yamal were unavailable due to malfunctions. The Turkish portal quotes Ukrainian as their source and I was not able to verify content of the story through other means. But there is no smoke without fire.

Yamal made 3 Syrian deployments in this year and she was last seen on 22th February 2016 sailing north. Whereas Azov made only 2 Syrian deployments in 2016 and she was last seen sailing north on 19th February 2016. So both of them were absent for the last 68 days. This is a long pause suggesting that there actually might be some problems with these ships.

The arduous Syrian Express deployments seems to be taking toll on the auxiliary cargo ships of the Russian Navy as well. According to 7 Feet Beneath the Keel blog half of them are in non-operational status:

“Dvinitsa-50” — operational
“Kazan-60” — non-operational; to undergo repairs – possibly until this fall – following a machinery room fire in late March
“Kyzyl-60” — non-operational
“Vologda-50” — operational
“Aleksandr Tkachenko” — non-operational; after conducting roundtrip missions in February and March, vessel pulled into Feodosiya in mid-March where it probably remains today
“Yauza” — returning to Murmansk

 

Russian Submarine Rostav-na-Donu Passed Through Bosphorus

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Rostav-na-Donu passing by Topkapı Palace.

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Rostav-na-Donu passing through Istanbul.

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The submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard boat TCSG-90.

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A close up view of Rostav-na-Donu.

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Rostav-na-Donu, was trailed by Turkish Tuzla class ASW patrol boat TCG Tuzla during her passage through Bosphorus.

Last Sunday, on 13 December 2015, the improved Kilo submarine of the Black Sea Fleet, Rostav-na-Donu made her inaugural passage through Istanbul Strait.

She is the second of a four boat of the six Varshavyanka submarines being build for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The first of these submarines, Novorossiysk has already been commissioned.

Rostav-na-Donu made headlines before her arrival. 4 days prior her passage she has fired undisclosed amount 3M-14 submarine launched cruise missiles to targets in Syria.  With the arrival of this boat, Russian Black Sea Fleet operates three submarines: the Kilo class Alrosa and the impreoved Kilo (Varshavyanka) class Novorossiysk and  Rostav-na-Donu.

During her passage thourg IStanbul Strait, the submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-90 and trailed by anti submarine warfare patrol boat TCG Tuzla.

Recent Russian Deployments From The Black Sea

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The Baltic Fleet warship Minsk is back. She was last seen on 17.04.2014 going south.

The tensions between Turkey and Russia are still in an aggravated level after the shooting down of a Russian Su-24M fighter-bomber by a Turkish F-16C.

As reported earlier, most of the tension remains on politic and economic front. Both sides are trying to keep their military reactions to a minimum.

According to Montreux Convention any Black Sea nation must inform Turkey 8 days before the passage of its warship. 14 days has passed since the shooting of the Russian fighter plane. If Russia wanted to reinforce its fleet off the coast of Syria with warships from the Black Sea Fleet these ship would have been passing through the Turkish Straits in last 5 days.

We have seen the southbound passage of 3 military landing ships (Korolev, Saratov, Tsezar Kunikov) and northbound passage of 4 military landing ships and 2 auxiliary cargo ships (Tsezar Kunikov, Yamal, Minsk, Korolev, Yauza, Dvinitsa-50) in last 15 days.

One of the most documented and discussed passage was the one of Tsezar Kunikov. During the southbound passage of this ship on 4th December 2015, a single sailor carrying what appears to be a 9K38 Igla (SA-18 “Grouse”) was photographed. The commanding officer of a warship has the duty to take all necessary precautions to protect his ship and his crew. But the show with the single Sa-18 was neither funny nor logical. If the missile was against Turkish Air Force it was definitely not enough, if the missile was against Daesh Air Force it was too much since they do not have any planes yet. So it was just a gesture to annoy

What we have not seen are the southbound passages of the destroyer or frigates from the Black Sea Fleet. This means either Russia is more interested in keeping their troops supplied in Syria or the conditions of Black Sea Fleet warships are not suitable for such deployment.

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