‘Ukraine wants to make Russian position in Crimea untenable’

‘Ukraine wants to make Russian position in Crimea untenable’
‘Ukraine wants to make Russian position in Crimea untenable’
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InternationalFeb 3 ’24 5:23 PMModified on Feb 3 ’24 7:42 PMAuthor: Thijs Baas

Ukraine’s attention is increasingly shifting towards Crimea. This has to do with the hope of resuming shipping traffic, but above all, Ukraine wants to make the position of the Russians on the peninsula untenable and harmless, says defense specialist Peter Wijninga of the The Hague Center for Strategic Studies (HCSS). “The majority of Iranian Shahed drones are fired at Ukraine from Crimea.”

‘Ukraine wants to make Russian position in Crimea untenable’

12 min 38 sec

It shows how important it is to ‘be busy with Crimea’, says Wijninga. “Ukraine has already attacked several Russian ports and naval vessels. Particularly in Sevastopol, but also in Feodosija on the east side.’ Precisely because Ukraine hardly has a navy, it has to fight the Russian navy from land. ‘They use the airspace, missiles and other means to make it as difficult as possible for the Russians around the Black Sea.’

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This is not only done from land and from the air, but also with so-called Sea Baby drones – a type of small speedboats with an explosive charge that sail unmanned over the surface of the water. ‘They also carried out attacks with that, on ships and on bridges. They also drove ships to the seabed with Neptun anti-ship missiles and deployed Storm Shadow missiles at the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.’

Great logistics

It is a misunderstanding to think that Ukraine can easily gain and maintain control around Crimea, says Michiel Hijmans, affiliated with the Clingendael Institute. The Russians still have great logistics and they are also able to supply Crimea. Moreover, they can still build ships in the Black Sea. ‘History has shown that Russia ultimately had enormous capacity and that is no different in this case.’

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Yet Russia does not always succeed in immediately replacing losses, for example when Ukraine has sunk another ship, says Hijmans. On the other hand, the Russians have dropped a large number of mines into the Black Sea from the air. ‘Attempts have been made to do something about those mines, but NATO naval vessels that can help with mine countermeasures are not allowed to simply sail via the Bosphorus to the Black Sea according to the Montreux Treaty, which regulates shipping there.

Ukraine’s attention is increasingly shifting to Crimea. This has to do with the hope of resumption of shipping traffic. But above all, Ukraine wants to make the Russian position on the peninsula untenable. (ANP/EPA)

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Ukraine Russian position Crimea untenable

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