The UK Defense Intelligence: the Russian Black Sea Fleet Has Intensified Its Defensive and Reactive Posture

The Dmitriy Rogachev patrol ship of project 22160 of russia’s Black Sea
The Dmitriy Rogachev patrol ship of project 22160 of russia’s Black Sea

Since suffering a series of strikes in August and September, the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) has highly likely doubled down on its defensive and reactive posture

It has relocated many of its prestige assets – including cruise missile capable ships and submarines – from Sevastopol to operating and basing areas further east, such as Novorossiysk, the UK Defense Intelligence reports.

Since July 2022, Ukraine has gained the initiative in the northwest Black Sea, forcing the powerful BSF to defend itself from uncrewed surface vessels (USVs), uncrewed air vehicles (UAVs) and missile attacks as well as special operations.

Read more: ​The Second Ship of russia’s Black Sea Fleet Exploded On a Naval Mine in the Sevastopol Raid in Three Days

With notable and embarrassing exceptions, however, the BSF has mostly continued to train, maintain and defend itself whilst launching cruise missiles into Ukraine. It can almost certainly continue to do so from the eastern Black Sea.

russia’s Pavel Derzhavin patrol ship / Open source photo

Despite the BSF’s largely intact capabilities, there is only a realistic possibility of it using its conventional superiority in firepower to seize the initiative in the Western Black Sea.

The risk of further military losses and the dire political consequences of Russian naval forces overtly attacking merchant shipping would highly likely outweigh any gain from attempting to enforce a blockade of Ukrainian-bound trade.

As Defense Express reported, Part of russia’s Black Sea Fleet Left Its Naval Base in Sevastopol. We also wrote, that russia Planed to Relocate the Black Sea Fleet Away From Ukraine to Occupied Abkhazia.

Read more: ​Ukraine’s Navy Tells What Happened to russia’s Pavel Derzhavin Patrol Ship That Allegedly Blew Up on Friendly Mine