Nov 15, 2021
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Kerch Breakthrough 2.0. Ukrainian “armada” again breaks into the Sea of ​​Azov

Kerch Breakthrough 2.0.  Ukrainian

Photo: Sgt. Alexis Flores / Zuma / TASS

Kiev approved the proposal of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to redeploy a number of military units and ships of the Navy from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea. This was announced on the Telegram channel by the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, a member of the European Solidarity faction. Alexey Goncharenko

“The redeployment of military units, boats and supply vessels of the Ukrainian Navy will take place. In particular, to Berdyansk (port in the Sea of ​​Azov) from Odessa, Nikolaev and Ochakov, as well as to Novye Belyary (Yuzhny port) of Odessa region from Odessa, ”he wrote.

The published document says that a military unit from Nikolaev will be redeployed to Berdyansk. In addition, the search and rescue vessel “Donbass”, small armored artillery boats “Lubny”, “Kremenchug”, “Vyshgorod” and “Akkerman” will arrive at this port from Odessa, and the sea tug “Korets” will arrive from Ochakov in the Nikolaev region.

In addition, a military unit, as well as American patrol boats of the Island “Slavyansk” and “Starobelsk” type, will be relocated on the territory of the Odessa region.

In fact, the meaning of these dances with tambourines is not very clear. The Ukrainian fleet is intended only for circus performances. However, sometimes these ideas can be very dangerous – just remember the Kerch provocation in 2019.

And yes, in order to get from the Black Sea to the Sea of ​​Azov, all this “invincible armada” must again pass under the Crimean bridge. Will they break through again?

He told about why Ukraine is so eager to enter the Sea of ​​Azov historian, publicist, permanent expert of the Izborsk club Alexander Dmitrievsky

– The militarization of the Azov Sea is an old dream of Kiev. Having lost control over the Kerch Strait (until 2014, the main fairway was in its Ukrainian part), Kiev politicians act according to the principle “What I don’t eat, I’ll definitely take a bite!”

Let’s start with the fact that Berdyansk, which Mr. Gocharenko mentions, is a key point for control over the Sea of ​​Azov. It was in Berdyansk until 1917 that the second largest naval base after Sevastopol in terms of power was located in the Taurida province, which, in addition to the Crimean peninsula, included a huge mainland part from the mouth of the Dnieper in the west and reaching almost to the mouth of Kalmius in the east. The reasons are the same, why the Sea of ​​Azov was never divided between Russia and Ukraine: the water surface and the bottom topography there do not coincide very much. For example, if you look at the map, the boundaries of the Taganrog Bay are Belosaraiskaya in the north and Dolgaya in the south. But if we look at the bottom relief, we will see that a huge sandbank stretches from the Dolgaya spit to the Berdyansk spit, creating an invisible “dressing room” from above. Therefore, the steamer going from Taganrog to the Kerch Strait first goes west, practically clinging to the northern coast, and only after passing the traverse of Berdyansk turns almost directly to the south.

And now imagine what a rich opportunity for armed provocations is given to Kiev by the location of the “mosquito fleet” in Berdyansk! Suffice it to recall the pirate attack of the Ukrainian military on the Crimean fishermen, when they managed to take the ship and the crew hostage. Considering that the Azov water area is a transport corridor to the Caspian Sea, Ukrainian politicians will obviously not mind playing this card, speculating on the safety of navigation. It is clear that with the help of the “mosquito squadron” Ukraine is unlikely to achieve much, but in order to sow tensions, this is quite enough.

– This next provocation is designed to once again cause condemnation of Russia. by exacerbating the situation near Donbass, – believes Head of the Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine Larisa Shesler

– But this project is not a one-time action. Ukraine, with the support of the West, is actively building and developing its military bases directed against Russia. Berdyansk is located a hundred kilometers from the Donbass-Ukraine demarcation line, and 200 kilometers by sea separates it from the Crimean coast. Naturally, this is a very convenient point for provocation – both by sea and by land.

And there is no need to be arrogant about the capabilities of the Ukrainian fleet. Equipped and reinforced with British and American ships and weapons, the Ukrainian military has the potential to cause Russia a lot of trouble.

“SP”: – Why militarize the Sea of ​​Azov at all? For an attack on Donbass?

– After the return of Crimea to Russia, the status of the Sea of ​​Azov remained unchanged – these are the internal waters of the two states. However, Ukraine does not give up hope to change this status, and to recognize the water area as an ordinary territorial sea with the right to call there ships of all countries without coordination with Russia. So far, it has not succeeded, but Ukraine has been militarizing the Sea of ​​Azov since 2018, creating a naval base in Berdyansk. This base threatens not only Donbass. The appearance of a second military fleet in a small area of ​​the Sea of ​​Azov is fraught with the possibility of conflicts and provocations.

“SP”: – Ukraine has been dreaming of creating full-fledged bases there for several years. Is it real at all? Why won’t the Americans help? They give them the boats …

– The naval base in Berdyansk is being built and developed. We see that a military unit of the Marine Corps from Nikolaev, small ships and artillery boats are being relocated there. And the Americans are actively promoting this by building camps for the military and transferring radar and other equipment to the Ukrainian side. The creation of a naval base on the Sea of ​​Azov is under the constant supervision of NATO, so this project cannot be regarded as an insignificant complication of the military situation in the region.

“SP”: – The main question: how are they going to go through the Kerch Strait. By the rules or like last time?

– I think for a direct provocation, similar to the Poroshenko in 2018, will not go now.

Relatively small vessels and equipment can be delivered by rail, tugs and auxiliary vessels can pass through the Kerch Strait. However, this does not negate the threat to Russia due to the fact that a shock and reconnaissance base is being created in the immediate vicinity of its borders, capable of striking Russian territory.

“SP”: – If we hypothetically imagine, the new Kerch provocation will end like the previous one? Or could there be other scenarios?

– There will be no provocations in the near future. However, they can occur at any time of any crisis related to the Donbass.

– The Ukrainian authorities still need to somehow work out the Russophobic agenda – it is not in vain that they transfer and sell decommissioned ships of American and British production, – I am sure Odessa journalist, former political prisoners Vitaly Didenko

– Of course, as a factor capable of imposing a struggle on the Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Naval Forces are insignificant, but for various provocations like the Kerch one – they are quite suitable. It is difficult to predict exactly how Kiev intends to redeploy its fleet to Berdyansk. I believe that attempts to repeat the situation of 2018 cannot be ruled out, because Zelensky copies and improves Poroshenko’s behavior patterns.

Against the background of numerous internal troubles, a drop in the rating, very contradictory relations with the West, where more and more critical notes are being heard in relation to Kiev, the Ukrainian guarantor can send its sailors “to the slaughter.” And then blame Russia for everything, and introduce martial law in the name of preserving its power, mothballing it for at least a year. Under this sauce it will be very convenient to carry out repressions against opponents of the regime, and for the West everything will be blamed on the “Russian threat”.

“SP”: – Can they muster a fleet to strike at the Donbass?

– Taking into account the aggravation in Donbass, which we have seen recently, the fleet can be used for shelling on Novoazovsk, controlled by the DPR. And in the event of a total offensive, for which Ukraine is preparing, an amphibious assault will follow, which will be assigned the task of “making a rustle” in the rear of the DPR defenders, possibly as a diversionary maneuver.

“SP”: – Should we wait for a new Kerch breakthrough?

– It all depends on what task Kiev sets itself. If provoked by the Russian Federation, they will proceed as in 2018, having received a serious response with the wounded, killed and prisoners. If the goal is to accumulate forces against the LDNR, then it will be held officially, although this will provoke accusations of treason on the part of nationalist groups. Ukraine will not fight seriously for Crimea, as hotheads sometimes call.

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