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Ukraine announces preparing recapture of Crimea peninsula occupied by Russia

Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian intelligence, has announced that recent attacks in the Black Sea and Crimea were aimed at preparing for a major operation. Budanov stated, "All of this was aimed at preparing for a major operation in Crimea. A way to verify that our understanding of ways to enter and exit the area is correct."
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Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian intelligence, has announced that recent attacks in the Black Sea and Crimea were aimed at preparing for a major operation. (Picture source: ISW)

The defense intelligence operations of Ukraine have stepped up their actions against Russian forces, especially in the Black Sea and the Crimea region, as part of a broader strategy aimed at retaking the peninsula occupied by Russia since 2014. This was announced by Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian intelligence.

The Ukrainian navy and intelligence services have managed to deploy sea drones and other sophisticated measures against Russian military assets, including damaging the Olenegorsky Gornyak landing ship near the Russian naval base of Novorossiysk and a Russian tanker. This operation is part of Ukraine's "three key tasks" aimed at the de-occupation of Crimea, focusing on neutralizing air defense systems, disrupting transport logistics, and challenging the presence of the Russian Black Sea fleet in the region.

Furthermore, Ukraine's strategic operations have had an impact on Russian naval capabilities. Notably, the use of a marine drone by the Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) led to damage to the Bora-class missile corvette Samum near Sevastopol, highlighting the innovative and evolving tactics employed by Ukrainian forces. These operations aim not only at military objectives but also serve as psychological support, demonstrating Ukraine's ability to penetrate and challenge Russian defenses in heavily fortified areas.

The development and deployment of the Magura drone, named after the goddess of war and victory in Slavic mythology, underscore Ukraine's commitment to enhancing its maritime combat capabilities. This drone, developed under the auspices of Ukrainian defense intelligence, has been instrumental in successful operations against Russian naval targets, including the Ivan Khurs spy ship and the Sergey Kotov patrol ship, demonstrating the strategic importance of drone technology in modern warfare.

Moreover, a specific operation in Chornomorske, Crimea, led to the destruction of the Russian Serna-class landing craft, demonstrating Ukraine's ability to conduct targeted special operations within Russian-occupied territories. These operations aim not only to degrade Russian military capabilities but also to send a strong message regarding Ukraine's resolve and capability to reclaim occupied territories.

However Ukrainian operations are not limited to the naval domain. Ukraine has also conducted devastating attacks against Russian air defense systems in Crimea, including the destruction of an S-400 'Triumf' system, and used drones to attack the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and other critical military infrastructure. Ukrainian operations have targeted the Kerch Bridge, a vital and highly symbolic artery connecting Crimea to the Russian mainland.

Ukrainian special forces have even managed to conduct raids against ammunition depots and fuel installations in Crimea, highlighting Ukraine's ability to penetrate Russian defenses and carry out precise operations behind enemy lines. However, it is noted that the latest operations of this type have not been entirely successful.

Overall, Ukraine's concerted efforts to challenge Russian naval dominance in the Black Sea and its strategic operations in Crimea represent one aspect of its overall military strategy. Whether this will be enough to retake the peninsula remains uncertain, with questions arising about whether this is a communication move or a real military objective. The situation continues to unfold.


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