One of the biggest attacks against Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet in recent months involved a Russian warship at port in Crimea. However, after a protracted struggle to hold the eastern city of Marinka, Ukrainian officials admitted that they had virtually abandoned the campaign. This was another blow to their ground forces.
The two events highlighted how the two sides have fared differently this winter in a conflict that has mainly come to a standstill, Ukraine is putting Russia on the defensive by winning naval battles in the Black Sea and Crimea, while Russia is continuing to attack eastern front battlefields after stifling a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The head of Ukraine’s armed forces, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, spoke somberly about the conflict a day after Russia declared it had gained total control over Marinka. He likened it to the bloody struggle for Bakhmut, the eastern city that Russia captured in May. Similar to Bakhmut, Marinka had little strategic significance but is now Moscow’s wrecked trophy.
At a press conference, General Zaluzhny stated, “The situation is the same as it was in Bakhmut.” “Our soldiers were being targeted, block by block, street by street. He claimed that the Ukrainian forces had withdrawn to the city’s periphery and established some positions behind it, suggesting that the cost of continuing to fight would be too great. General Zaluzhny stated that although every square inch of Ukrainian territory is vital, “the lives of our fighters are more important to us.”
The Novocherkassk was a large landing ship that the Ukrainian Air Force claimed to have destroyed overnight in the Crimean port of Feodosia. The ship was damaged in an attack using “aircraft-guided missiles,” according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, which did not specify whether the damage was permanent.
The Ukrainian Air Force released footage of the attack that appeared to have been captured by locals. It shows a massive explosion that resulted in a massive fireball, followed by a massive cloud of smoke and flames that shot into the night sky. The Russian-installed governor of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, claimed that the attack had ignited a fire in Feodosia, though the footage could not be immediately verified. According to him, the attack resulted in one person being killed and two more being injured.
Following another victory for Ukrainian forces, the Novocherkassk strike occurred, In three days, the military claimed to have shot down five Russian fighter jets. One of the Russian Air Force’s largest weekly losses since the start of the conflict, analysts said that the downing of the bombers may lessen the pressure on Ukrainian forces stationed in some of the hotspots along the front lines.
The Ukrainian military has long argued that attacking Russian forces and resources in Crimea, which Moscow forcibly annexed in 2014, is necessary to win the war. The pace of attacks on the peninsula, which Russia’s military uses as a launchpad for attacks and as a logistics hub for maintaining control over southern Ukraine by storing fuel, ammunition, and other supplies to be channeled to the front lines, has increased dramatically in recent months in Ukraine.
Devastating precision cruise missiles have been fired by the Black Sea Fleet at towns and cities located deep within Ukraine. The Ukrainian military has attacked the fleet this year on several occasions to lessen the threat, in August, they damaged a warship, and a month later, they struck the fleet’s headquarters.
Due to reports of incorrect draft notices and coercive mobilization tactics, the conscription process has come under scrutiny as the Ukrainian Army struggles to muster enough troops to repel Russia’s repeated assaults.
In recent days, military officials have stated that a massive mobilization of up to 500,000 soldiers will be required. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, stated that he could not decide until a plan was drafted. General Zaluzhny called for the mobilization of additional troops to offset Ukrainian losses on Tuesday, though he did not provide an exact number.