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ISW explains what's behind strikes on shipyard in Crimea and Ukrainian Armed Forces operations in the south

ISW explains what's behind the Ukrainian Armed Forces' operations in the south and Crimea

On November 4, the Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully struck a Russian shipyard in Kerch, attacking the Zaliv shipyard and damaging the Askold ship. The next day, Ukrainians intensified their strikes on Russian rear areas not only in Crimea but also in the temporarily occupied part of the south of the country.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) tried to analyze what was behind these operations. They recalled the warning of a brigadier general of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that Ukraine was preparing a winter campaign of drone attacks against the Russian Armed Forces.

Ukrainian Armed Forces strikes in Kerch

The Ukrainian Armed Forces Strategic Communications Center (StratCom) said that Ukrainian forces had successfully struck Russian maritime and port infrastructure at the Zaliv shipyard in Kerch on the evening of November 4. Satellite imagery shows damage to the Project 22800 Kalibriv (Askold) small missile boat at the shipyard, although the extent of the damage is unclear.

ISW explains what's behind strikes on shipyard in Crimea and Ukrainian Armed Forces operations in the south

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Russian troops "intercepted 13 out of 15 Ukrainian missiles" aimed at the shipyard, but admitted that two missiles damaged an unidentified ship.

According to Ukrainian officials, the Ukrainian Armed Forces cruise missiles did damage the Askold missile carrier, which was launched by the Russian Black Sea Fleet in 2021 and has not yet taken part in hostilities.

ISW explains what's behind strikes on shipyard in Crimea and Ukrainian Armed Forces operations in the south

 

ISW explains what's behind strikes on shipyard in Crimea and Ukrainian Armed Forces operations in the south

It is known that Russia currently has three operating shipyards, including the Zaliv plant, in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

According to ISW estimates, since June 2023, the Ukrainian Defense Forces have been conducting a campaign to dismantle Russian military infrastructure on the peninsula, primarily the Black Sea Fleet assets, in order to weaken the ability of the Russian military to use Crimea as a foothold and rear for its operations in southern Ukraine.

Other Ukrainian Armed Forces operations in the south

On November 5, the Ukrainian Defense Forces reportedly intensified attacks on Russian rear areas in the temporarily occupied part of the southern regions.

Russian sources claimed that on the night of November 4-5, the Ukrainian Armed Forces attacked Skadovsk in Kherson region. They also claimed to have "disabled" Ukrainian drones that targeted the railroad of an oil refinery in Dzhankoy (Crimea).

In addition, on November 5, a Russian blogger complained about a Ukrainian strike with a Storm Shadow missile on the temporarily occupied Berdiansk in Zaporizhzhia region.

ISW explains what's behind strikes on shipyard in Crimea and Ukrainian Armed Forces operations in the south

The head of the Berdiansk city military administration, Victoria Galitsyna, said that local residents reported two explosions in the city, but the Ukrainian General Staff is clarifying the information.

Analysts did not speculate on the goals pursued by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in such attacks on the enemy. They merely quoted the words of Brigadier General Serhiy Baranov, head of the Main Directorate of Missile Forces, Artillery and Unmanned Systems, in an interview with The Independent on November 4. He said that the Defense Forces intend to "capitalize" on the experience gained and conduct large-scale operations, such as drone strikes against Russian targets, when the fighting slows down in winter. According to him, Ukraine intends to build on its "significant successes" as a result of recent drone strikes targeting critical Russian military and naval facilities both in the temporarily occupied territories and in the borderlands of the Russian Federation itself.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Volunteer Army South, Serhiy Bratchuk, said that by striking Kerch, the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed fire control over the territory of Crimea. He added that now the life of the Crimean bridge is also under threat.

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