Putin only has ‘two ships left’ but rocket threat remains, says Ukraine

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has retreated to Crimea, out of range of Ukrainian missiles according to sources in Kyiv, leaving only two ships on patrol.

"The ship group of enemy forces left two ships on patrol,” says a Ukrainian report, “and the rest is undergoing repair and resupply at bases in Crimea.

"However, the threat of a rocket attack and a desperate landing attack does not diminish."

Meanwhile, Russia has dismissed Ukrainian claims that modern navy logistics ship the Vsevolod Bobrov had been damaged by a missile in the Black Sea.

The Russian Defence Ministry has released photos of what it said was the vessel with no signs of damage.

"It is now clear from the photographs that the ship is not damaged at all," the Ministry statement insisted.

Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odesa regional military administration in Ukraine, claimed earlier this week that the Vsevolod Bobrov had been damaged and was on fire.

“As a result of the actions of our Navy, the Vsevolod Bobrov logistics ship, one of the newest in the Russian fleet, set on fire. They say she is limping toward Sevastopol,” Bratchuk said.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, said the Russian ship was hit as it was trying to deliver an anti-aircraft system to Snake Island.

He said she was badly damaged but was not thought to have been sunk.

The Vsevolod Bobrov is a comparatively new craft and was built for the Russian Navy by Severnaya Verf Shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was only delivered in August last year.

It is the second of three Logistics Support Vessels in the Elbrus-class/Project 23120, designed for a range of operations including dry cargo transport, towing, fleet escort, and salvage and rescue.

Ukraine’s claims follow the sinking of the Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, in April.

Despite early denials Russia’s defence ministry eventually confirmed multiple casualties from that incident.

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