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Russia-Ukraine war: UK says Russia's Black Sea Fleet relocating some submarines
The British defense ministry said Russia has likely sought to move some of its submarines from the Crimean peninsula to southern Russia. The relocation of some submarines comes as Moscow is likely concerned that Ukrainian troops may open long-range fire.
In the ministry’s latest intelligence bulletin Tuesday, the ministry said the submarines in question were likely relocated to the Krasnodar Krai in Russia rather than its naval base in Sevastopol, in the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula.
The ministry added that the guaranteed Russian Black Sea Fleet base in Crimea was a reason for Vladimir Putin’s annexing of the territory in 2014.
“The command of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has almost certainly relocated its KILO-class from their home port of Sevastopol in Crimea to Novorossiysk in Krasnodar Krai, southern Russia,” said the ministry.
“This is highly likely due to the recent change in the local security threat level in the face of increased Ukrainian long-range strike capability. In the last two months, the fleet headquarters and its main naval aviation airfield have been attacked.”
“Guaranteeing the Black Sea Fleet’s Crimea base was likely one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations for annexing the peninsula in 2014. Base security has now been directly undermined by Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine,” said the ministry.
While Moscow claims Crimea as its territory after its annexation, Crimea is still internationally recognized as Ukrainian territory, and Kyiv is aiming to reclaim the peninsula in the war, which is approaching seven months.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss is set to tell world leaders during the United Nations General Assembly that London’s support for Ukraine in 2023 would match or exceed the $2.63 billion that was already pledged by the country for Ukraine as it continues to fight against Russia.
The report by the Financial Times Tuesday said that Truss will deliver the country’s “hawkish” message of continued support for Ukraine.
Truss is set to address world leaders during the assembly on Wednesday. Truss is also reportedly expected to press other countries to ramp up support for Ukraine, with the United Kingdom becoming the second-largest military donor to Kyiv, Downing Street told the outlet.