scorecardRussia's navy could be open to a sea-drone attack after a huge storm
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Russia's navy could be open to a sea-drone attack after a huge storm

Sinéad Baker   

Russia's navy could be open to a sea-drone attack after a huge storm
LifeInternational2 min read
  • A big storm over occupied Crimea damaged Russia's naval defenses there, a report said.
  • Satellite images showed damage to booms and barges meant to defend from sea drones.

Russia's defenses at its naval base in the Black Sea have been significantly damaged in a storm, according to satellite imagery seen by The War Zone.

It could offer an opportunity for Ukraine.

The outlet published before-and-after satellite imagery from the company Planet Labs showing the port at Sevastopol.

The images appeared to show damage to a system it said showed damage to a system of booms and barges erected by Russia after Ukraine attacked naval vessels there with seaborne drones.

Sevastopol is Russia's main naval base in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula it has occupied since 2014.

The photos showed fewer defenses in the water than there were earlier this month, before the storm which tore across Ukraine and caused significant disruption to the war effort on both sides.

They showed some booms were detached while some of the barges are not visible anymore, The War Zone wrote.

Russian officials in Crimea announced a state of emergency after the storm hit.

At least one person died in Crimea while flooding was also reported, according to Reuters.

It is not clear how long it will take Russia to repair the defenses, and Russian officials have described damage in Crimea but not mentioned the defenses, The War Zone reported.

Sevastopol has been a favored target for Ukraine — so much so that Russia shifted some targets further away.

Russia has moved most of its ships away from the port after Ukraine ramped up its attacks, according to an analysis of satellite imagery made in October.

Basil Germond, a maritime security expert at the UK's Lancaster University, told Business Insider's Mia Jankowicz that the move showed Russia had "clearly lost its control" over the Black Sea.

UK intelligence officials also said last month that Russia had moved some naval operations away from Crimea as Ukraine continued its attacks.

Recent Ukrainian action against Crimea included a large airstrike on the headquarters of the Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol in September.

Another attack damaged a submarine and a landing craft.

Ukraine has also been using sea drones to target the fleet, including an attack earlier this month which Ukraine said hit two Russian vessels.

Elite Ukrainian troops have also landed on Crimea and conducted raids some there, Ukraine says.