Why Ukraine Continues to Target the Black Sea Fleet
The Ukrainian Special Forces command has reported that the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet was among “the 34 officers killed in the strike on the fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol”.
In times of war, it is never easy to distinguish facts from fiction. How certain can we be about the aftermath of last week’s attack, which witnessed multiple Storm Shadow missiles striking the Black Sea Fleet’s base in Crimea?
I believe Ukraine is telling the truth for two reasons:
- Ukraine’s spy chief, Kyrylo Budanov, told Voice of America that several high level officials of the Black Sea fleet were killed during the attack. He said, “”Among the wounded is the commander of the group, Colonel-General (Olexandr) Romanchuk, in a very serious condition. The Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General (Oleg) Tsekov, is unconscious. The number of casual military servicemen who are not employees of the headquarters is still being determined. These are military personnel who are on duty, security, and so on — they are not included in the list that I announced to you.” He will not risk his reputation by giving the names of the deceased. It will undermine his authority in the international arena.
- Ukraine’s Special Forces command has officially announced the death of the Black Sea Fleet’s commander, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, in the attack. This information will have a significant impact in Ukraine, Russia, and worldwide. If Admiral Sokolov were alive, Russian state media would have wasted no time mocking the Ukrainians. However, they have remained silent, merely stating that no one important was present at the headquarters during the attack. Admiral Viktor Sokolov has not appeared in any interviews or refuted the claims, which is highly unusual for the Russians.
If the commander of the Black Sea Fleet was indeed killed during the attack, it is highly likely that the senior leadership of the fleet…