Kyiv responded to Russia's strikes on Ukrainian ports in the Danube Delta with attacks on the port of Novorossiysk in Southern Russia (the Krasnodar region). Russia no longer has safe havens in the Black Sea.
The Russian Defence Ministry has not confirmed reports about the damage that was caused on August 4 to the large landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak (she was relocated from the Northern Fleet to the Black Sea).
A video that appeared on the Internet after the attacks on the port of Novorossiysk shows the large landing ship being towed while listing heavily on the port side. One of the compartments was flooded, but the ship remained afloat and will be restored after repairs, Rybar Telegram channel said.
Military experts of the channel reproach the crew for inattention. They believe that all non-combat ships should be armed with additional machine gun systems.
Let us assume that the ship crew detected the attack at the last moment and decided to take the blow to avoid a strike on the port infrastructure of Novorossiysk, in particular, terminals of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) that export Kazakhstani oil to Europe.
A successful attack on CPC terminals would cause enormous reputation and economic damage. Insurance for all port operations would need to be increased dramatically.
The CPC representative office reported on the morning of Friday, August 4, that the port of Novorossiysk lifted the temporary ban on navigation. Cargo will be loaded on tanker ships at two terminals.
Militarist Telegram channel said that the unmanned boats that Ukraine used for the attack were developed by French company ECA. The company also supplies spare parts for them.
"Both Ukraine and NATO have obviously crossed another red line, since de facto NATO weapons are being used on the territory of the former RSFSR." (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic — ed.).
Natalya Gumenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that the explosions could be a Russia-staged provocation the purpose of which was to accuse Ukraine of being unable to ensure the safety of navigation in the Black Sea. However, Ukraine usually admits to terrorist attacks over time.
The attack on the Russian port in Novorossiysk took place after Ukrainian unmanned boats attacked a Russian tanker in the Bosphorus Strait. The Sergey Kotov and the Vasily Bykov ships destroyed the boats. Ukraine also used unmanned boats to attack the Crimean Bridge.
The trend of Ukrainian unmanned boats attacking Russian civilian infrastructure has been gathering pace lately. The geography of their use has been expanding lately too.
It is very difficult to find reliable defence against them as such surface drones can be launched both from the coast and from foreign merchant ships.
Politician Oleg Tsarev wrote on Telegram that during the Great Patriotic War all ports and bays were blocked by nets and booms. Russia should rake urgent measures to protect her sea ports, he believes.
One also needs to set up a monitoring service from the air. Attacks on Russian ports could be a great motivation for the Russian forces to win the special military operation.
The FSB should look into the issue of how attack videos appear on the net as Ukraine can thus see the consequences of its attacks, as well as how Russia defends infrastructure.
Of course, Russia's attacks on Ukraine, including Ukrainian ports, are a lot more powerful. On August 2, the Russian Aerospace Forces struck the key port of the Odessa region, Izmail, from where grain was transported to Romania. Several fuel depots and bunkers were destroyed. The fires that broke out as a result of the attack could not be extinguished even 24 hours afterwards.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine may face new problems over the upgraded Russian unmanned aerial vehicle Lancet. Kyiv will now need to use airfields far from the line of combat contact and look for new ways to protect its aircraft