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calendar   Wednesday - March 26, 2014

Not Exactly Pravda

“In Military ‘Rout’, Russia Seizes 51 Ukranian Warships”

Well, sorta kinda ...

[Kiev (aka Kyiv), Ukrains] In its invasion and annexation of Crimea, Russia has seized 51 vessels belonging to the Ukrainian navy, according to information compiled by Dmitry Tymchuk, director of the Center of Military and Political Research in Kyiv.

Among the Ukrainian vessels reportedly captured by the Russians are submarine Zaporizhia, management ship Slavutych, landing ship Konstantin Olshansky, landing ship Kirovohrad, minesweeper Chernihiv and minesweeper Cherkasy.

The Cherkasy was the last of the ships to have been overtaken following weeks of threats and ultimatums to surrender. It was finally chased down and overtaken by the Russian navy on March 25 after failing to slip past a blockade of two ships intentionally sunk by the Russians to trap it and other vessels in a narrow gulf, keeping them from escaping into the Black Sea.

Right. Well, you heard about the first ship sunk right here at BMEWS, the old Soviet cruiser Ochakov. What you didn’t hear, was that a short while later the Russkies sank another one, a little patrol boat or fishing vessel, to better seal off that opening. Video of that small ship blowing up and sinking, here. I can not verify that 3 ships were scuttled, not 2, but I have read that only once, in the Moscow Times. So, is Pravda, da o nyet?. Regardless ... all the ships were put down to block off Lake Donuslav.

And today’s “military rout” was the “battle” to capture the little minesweeper Cherkasy, which consisted of flash-bangs and smoke grenades from the Russians countered by water cannons from the Ukrainians. In the end, the Ukranians slagged the engines of their boat and gave up, after a good time was had by all, playing boats in the puddle with the big kid down the block.

So the 51 “wessels” [ I couldn’t resist playing ens. Chekov from Star Trek for a moment there ], were the same bunch that got bottled up 2 weeks ago. Apparently Cherkasy has been running around in the lake ever since, avoiding direct contact and thus capture.

During the operation there was an explosion on board the ship, which was in an inlet called Donuslav Lake, that apparently damaged its engines.

“The Cherkasy has been taken over and as the engine was damaged during the raid, it had to be towed away by a tug boat to the anchorage,” Ukrainian Navy spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said.

There were no injuries and the crew remained on board until the morning, when they went ashore.

During the takeover, which began on Tuesday evening, the minesweeper used water cannon in an effort to repel the Russian forces who had approached the Cherkasy in speedboats. “Russians threw stun grenades and fired small arms, apparently in the air,” a Navy source said.

Russian forces have used similar tactics to seize ships and military bases from the last remaining Ukrainian troops in Crimea in recent days as part of Russia’s largely bloodless annexation of the region.

Kiev, which calls Russia’s acquisition of Crimea illegal, ordered its remaining forces to withdraw for their own safety on Monday, but not all troops have yet left the Black Sea peninsula and some ships have been prevented from leaving.

On Monday, the Cherkasy attempted without success to break to the open sea through a blockade at the entrance to the inlet. The Russian Navy blocked the route earlier this month by scuttling three hulks in the channel.

The Ukrainian Navy at large is now down to one 404 foot light cruiser, one light PT boat patrol craft, an LST style small landing craft, a barge, and 3 tiny scientific research diving vessels.

There have been doubts about which way the Sahaydachniy’s captain leans politically, but for now “the pride of the Ukrainian Navy” remains “at large”, even though you can locate the ship, docked, in Sevastapol on Bing.com/maps (44.614769, 33.568146). So, go figure.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/26/2014 at 04:00 PM   
Filed Under: • International •  
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