Without a Navy, Ukraine Halts the Black Sea Fleet

| May 23, 2024 | 42 Comments

moskva cg.jpg
Artificial Reef

Ukraine has devastated Russia’s Black Sea Fleet without even having a real navy. These are the Russian warships Ukraine has taken out.

Lauren Frias

  • In over two years, Ukrainian forces have devastated Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
  • In lieu of warships, Ukraine uses unmanned drones and anti-ship missiles to thwart Russia’s navy.
  • The barrage of attacks forced Russia to shift warships away from a prized naval base in Crimea.

Ukraine has inflicted significant damage on the Russian Black Sea Fleet, wrecking many Russian vessels in over two years of war.

Since Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Ukrainians have destroyed or damaged roughly half of the Russian fleet’s warships, including one submarine, per publicly available information.

Without warships of its own, Ukrainian forces have relied on unmanned maritime drones and long-range anti-ship missiles to hammer Russia’s naval forces.

Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesman for the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said in a public statement in February that the Russian Navy had about 80 warships at the outset of the war, including large warships, landing ships, submarines, patrol boats, and minesweepers.

“I can say that the Black Sea fleet operations have been greatly complicated, if not paralyzed,” Pletenchuk said at the time.

The attacks have allowed Ukraine to resume grain shipments through the Black Sea, which is central to its economy, and forced the Black Sea Fleet to shift warships away from its prized naval homeport in Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula.


Not only keeping their sea lanes open for commerce, the Ukes have denied Russia the use of its own Black Sea home port. Impressive.

Category: Bravo Zulu, Russia, Ukraine

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Not a whole lot of wiggle room in that pond. Wonder if Big Navy is paying attention?


Unlike the US Navy, the Russian and Chinese navies are oriented towards operating close to the shorelines. They’re not oriented towards open ocean/open sea warfare. The Ukrainians have been targeting Russian ships that are either in port, or sailing close to port. Once you get beyond the horizon, trying to use satellites to find a ship is not like how they do things in the movies.  

The US Navy, and other branches in the US military, have been paying attention to what is going on in Ukraine and are adjusting their strategies accordingly. I recently read, in an Army related magazine, that during an exercise at a US base, Army units were already employing tactics being used in Ukraine… E.g., using a combination of drones and artillery rather than just artillery. One commander got a wakeup call when one of the OPFOR units told him that they had used drones to track his unit’s convoy. Had this been in the combat theater, the convoy could’ve been taken out before it reached its destination. 


The US, Royal and French Navies are the last true Blue Water Navies left.
Russia has definitely been downgraded to a Green


China is about there. They have more air craft carriers than two of the countries you named.


Although they have two aircraft carriers, their main focus is the capture of Taiwan, as well as preserving their territorial integrity, aka, 9 dashed line claims, aka, pushing neighboring countries around… Rather than open ocean warfare. This is the case even though they have more ships than us without counting their naval militia or ships that they’re bringing online. When you add the later two, then their navy even gets larger. They haven’t quite developed their power projection capability, including sustained at sea operations, yet.  

US policy in the Indo-Pacific includes utilizing the island chains as additional “ships” that has the US Army and US Marines playing roles against the PLA Navy while playing out their land warfare functions. 


China has three air craft carriers, one is undergoing sea trials right now. A fourth, a nuclear powered “Type 004” is under construction.


For the purposes of having power projection, being a blue water navy, carrying out a military operation near Taiwan or elsewhere, etc., the one undergoing sea trials and the other being under construction don’t count. 

They have 2 active aircraft carriers that they could use to carry out their strategic objectives. 


As you said China isn’t worried about long distance power projection yet, but they would be an extremely formidable navy to fight against in their own backyard. The only reason they haven’t taken Taiwan yet isn’t fear of our military it’s fear of losing the customer base that has bankrolled their military capability and will continue to fund their build up. We are the cash cow, we are responsible for China being the power it is, we will be the reason it surpasses us and becomes the number one superpower. They know we can’t break our addiction to cheap goods and know we are super soft as a people. They will milk the cow until they no longer need to and then they take Taiwan and probably whatever they want in the pacific. We won’t do anything but whine.


Av8or33: As you said China isn’t worried about long distance power projection yet, As long as they’re corrupt to the core, that “yet” will be a long ways off. Av8or33: but they would be an extremely formidable navy to fight against in their own backyard. Not necessarily. If our ships operate within line of sight of their shoreline, then we would have to deal with their anti ship defenses, aircraft, drones, as well as their ships. However, our Navy mainly fights “over the horizon”. This is how the the Navy did things when I was in the Navy, fights were “stand off” with the enemy over the horizon, and our side conducting over the horizon tracking and targeting. Navy ships stayed away from line of sight of the shore until fire control and enemy destruction had been established along the shoreline and inward away from the shoreline. I’ve seen reports of how their Navy does things, I’ve read witness accounts of how the Chinese actually performed, e.g., Filipino fishermen offering help to the Chinese vessel that harassed them after they got stuck on a barrier they should not have gotten stuck on. I’m hoping that should we end up having a naval conflict in that area, that the PLA does what they’ve shown off so far. So, unless we venture within light of sight of their shorelines, the Chinese Navy stands a chance of suffering Russian style. Av8or33: The only reason they haven’t taken Taiwan yet isn’t fear of our military it’s fear of losing the customer base that has bankrolled their military capability and will continue to fund their build up. No, their real fear is mainly twofold… Our military, and internal threats that would arise from their war footing. The first comes from their own generals. One of them, who was one of the authors of “Unrestricted Warfare” warned the Chinese government that taking Taiwan would require the entire Chinese military, and the entire Chinese military infrastructure and support, just to handle… That’s before the US and its allies get involved. Xi Jinping would have to let a… Read more »


A/C carriers are only a force multiplyer if you have you the support ships to protect them.


China has the world’s largest Navy by number of surface ships. By tonnage they are at less than half the US. The real story is the number of naval combat air craft. They are currently at 20% of the US numbers. This is changing rapidly as a concern as drone warfare picks up speed in supplanting human driven machines.


I thought our current military strategy was to be more inclusive while shoveling a crap ton of money to other countries.


Don’t forget diversity and equity too! Those three initiatives will make your military more deadly! Especially if you misgender someone!!😆😆😆🤮

A Proud Infidel®™

DON’T FORGET the SHARP training and wear your PT Belt, it makes you invincible, just ask any 1SG or CSM, and STAY OFF THE GRASS!!!



At least until the paint dries.


That Ukraine did have a Navy. Most of it was captured by the Russians in 2014, including nearly all of their Sea Guard (Coast Guard). What was left was mostly destroyed by the Russians early in 2022.

They have had some help, drones and US cruise missiles and the last missile boat was sunk by ATACMS.

I think the real story has been on land. They’re fighting an Air Force without an Air Force. Stinger and Patriot missiles have devastated the Russian air fleet. This has kept Russia from gaining air supremacy. Had they succeeded in doing that, the war would have been over 2 years ago.

Also the loss of armor vehicles has been nothing short of epic. They have lost more armor vehicles than the United States has in it’s inventory. Most were old but many were newer than the Abrams and the Bradley.

The Russians have taken at least 300,000 casualties. It’s probably about 3 to 1 on the casualties to the Ukrainians. But Russia is vast, and now they have massed half a million troops and will likely run over whatever the Ukrainians have left.


Good points.. Russia has always been quantity over quality (like almost every commie nation), especially when it comes to troops.. they have little to no regard for human losses, as they can always force more cannon fodder to the front..


Russia doesn’t have anywhere close to the number of potential conscripts that it did in previous wars.
The 20th century was very tough on the Russian/Soviet population. Particularly if you were male. A lot of babushka who went to their graves childless or with no living male children.


True, but the level of concern for the lives of conscripts amongst those in power hasn’t changed at all..


You are right about that


This war needs to end. Its gone on long enough…

Fall of Stalingrad to fall of Berlin: 2/2/43 to 5/8/45 is 826 days
Ukraine/Russia War: 2/24/22 to 5/21/24 is 819 days

What has been accomplished? Asking for a friend…


Lots of cash has been transferred to the biden crime family and other corrupt bureaucrats DUH….


Putin has consolidated power and killed many critics and pretenders to his throne. At the same time the cost has been enormous. What started as a grab for a puppet state and complete control of the Black Sea Petro reserves has turned into financial disaster for everyone involved.

While Biden helped pump up inflation, the greatly inflated price of oil has second and third level effects that have really moved the needle up. Making everyone give the banks more money by raising the interest rates can’t fix that.

The cost to Russia has been dark. Hundreds of thousands dead twice the number wounded and crippled. Financially they are having a come apart.

On the upside China has made it clear they are not our friend. Many of us knew that already but now even some Democrats are jumping on the train.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

Send no more money or weapons, isolate them both, throw in a box of knives, and close the door behind you. And may they both expire. Leave more room for other, hopefully more sensible people to move in.

Ginsu knives?


Just in… In time for Memorial Day weekend, Chicoms launch a massive surprise exercise completely surrounding Taiwan after it got said last month we didn’t support an independent Taiwan:

Last edited 21 days ago by Anonymous

It’s that time of the month again.


Time for an emergency middle of the night vote for more funds to support Taiwan because we misspoke the first time. Monday morning at 5am sounds like a great time to vote, and then go to a celebratory breakfast afterwards since they’re up early anyway.


Joe Biden has said three times now that he will violate US law and come to the defense of Taiwan if they are attacked. Every time it has been walked by the press secretary, but he never said anything different.


Done ended their exercise– wasn’t this holiday weekend while everyone’s on leave, at least.


Not just intimidation, but a rehearsal to attack Taiwan:

Last edited 19 days ago by Anonymous
Hack Stone

The Russians are playing Risk, The Ukrainians are playing Battleship.


And our leaders are playing with themselves.


Okay, here’s my .02 on the matter, FWIW:

The Russians haven’t exactly been known for their training or their maintenance skills since, well, EVER.

A LOT of those losses can be chalked up to poorly maintained radars, countermeasure equipment, propulsion plants, and crews who know fuck-all about damage control (looking at you, Moskva.)

Take from that what you will.

Hack Stone

Hack Stone lays the blame squarely on the lack of Diversity Equity and Inclusion training. Something about diversity being our strength.

Forest Bondurant

The Russian heavy aircraft cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov has been an abysmal failure since its keel was laid down in Ukraine back in the late 80s/early 90s. Sea trials went horribly bad, it cannot sustain itself at sea for long periods, its power plant is antiquated, plagued by mechanical issues, and Russia lacks the infrastructure to support it. The Russians learned the hard way that it’s bad luck to rename a ship, and this one has had 3 or 4 name changes since it was first launched.

A Proud Infidel®™

Yep, AND that rust-bucket has to have a fleet of Tugs shadowing it every time it goes to sea for WHEN it breaks down!

AT1 ret

Ukraine looking at the russian boats in the black sea


If Russia keeps winning their war on Ukraine the way they have been, China will get Siberia with a troop of kids.


I found this article a fascinating read for all kinds of reasons. Not the least of which have to do with Ukraine.


Last edited 20 days ago by 5JC
A Proud Infidel®™

They’ve been doing that for years.