As of August 5, British intelligence reports indicate a significant incident involving the Russian Navy landing ship, Olenegorsky Gornyak, near the Black Sea Fleet’s Novorossiysk base. The vessel, routinely assigned to Russia’s Northern Fleet, has been augmenting the BSF since the invasion of Ukraine and plays a vital role in military and civilian transportation between Russia and occupied Crimea. However, the ship has recently suffered severe damage, posing a substantial blow to the Black Sea Fleet’s operations.
Incident Details and Impact
During the night of August 3-4, 2023, the Olenegorsky Gornyak was struck, resulting in severe damage. Images of the vessel listing at 30-40 degrees indicate that multiple watertight compartments may have been breached, or that the crew’s damage control efforts were insufficient.
The Olenegorsky Gornyak, weighing 3600 tonnes and measuring 113 meters in length, is the largest Russian naval vessel to have experienced such significant damage since the sinking of the cruiser Moskva on April 13, 2022.
The ship has been instrumental in supporting operations of the Black Sea Fleet during the ongoing Ukraine War, particularly in transporting military and civilian traffic between Russia and Crimea when the Kerch Bridge has been disrupted due to attacks.
The Impact on the Black Sea Fleet
The severe damage to the Olenegorsky Gornyak represents a significant blow to the Black Sea Fleet. Prior to the incident, most of the fleet’s units were relocated to Novorossiysk as a response to the heightened threat to Sevastopol.
The vessel’s role in transporting personnel and supplies between Russia and occupied Crimea has been crucial, and its potential incapacitation may disrupt operations and logistical support for the BSF in the region.
As of August 5, 2023, British intelligence reports reveal that the Russian Navy landing ship, Olenegorsky Gornyak, has suffered serious damage near the Novorossiysk base. This incident marks a notable setback for the Black Sea Fleet, impacting its operations and logistics in the ongoing Ukraine War. The severity of the damage and its implications for the BSF’s future operations are likely to be closely monitored by international observers as the situation in the region continues to evolve.