November 5, 2023

Institute for the Study of War: Ukraine attacks Russian naval vessel in Crimean shipyard

Institute for the Study of War

Ukrainian forces conducted a successful strike on a Russian shipyard in Kerch, occupied Crimea on November 4, likely damaging a naval vessel. The Ukrainian Amed Forces Center for Strategic Communications (StratCom) stated that Ukrainian forces conducted successful strikes on Russian marine and port infrastructure at the Zalyv Shipyard in Kerch on the evening of November 4. Satellite imagery from November 4 shows that the strike damaged a Project 22800 Karakurt-class Kalibr missile carrier corvette at the shipyard, although the extent of the damage to the ship is currently unclear. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces intercepted 13 of 15 Ukrainian missiles targeting the shipyard and acknowledged that two missiles damaged an unspecified ship. Ukrainian officials stated that Ukrainian cruise missiles damaged the Askold missile carrier, a Karakurt-class corvette that the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) launched in 2021. The Zalyv shipyard reportedly planned to construct 14 warships intended for the BSF between 2016 and 2021, including eight Project 22800 Karakurt-class corvettes. ISW has only confirmed that three Project 228000 Karakurt-class corvettes have launched from the Zalyv shipyard as of 2023, however. The Zalyv shipyard is the largest shipyard in Eastern Europe and is likely the main repair facility for the BSF in Crimea following a successful Ukraine strike on the Russian state-owned ship repair facility Sevmorzavod in Sevastopol on September 13, 2023. The extent of damage to the repair facilities at the Zalyv Shipyard is unclear, although the available satellite imagery suggests that the Ukrainian strike has likely not caused damage that will disrupt its operations in the medium-to-long term, unlike the previous strike on the Sevmorzavod facility. Radio Free Europe/Free Liberty (RFE/RL) has reported that Russian forces have three active shipyards, including the Zalyv facility, in occupied Crimea. ISW assesses that Ukrainian forces have conducted an interdiction campaign against Russian military infrastructure in occupied Crimea, primarily BSF assets, since June 2023 to degrade the Russian military’s ability to use Crimea as a staging and rear area for Russian operations in southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces reportedly intensified strikes on rear Russian areas in southern Ukraine and occupied Crimea on November 5.Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces struck Skadovsk, occupied Kherson Oblast on the night of November 4-5. Russian sources claimed that Russian forces also disabled Ukrainian drones targeting a railway at an oil refinery in Dzhankoi, occupied Crimea on November 5. A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted a Storm Shadow missile strike on Berdyansk, Zaporizhia Oblast on November 5. Ukrainian Berdyansk City Military Administration Head Viktoria Halitsyna stated that locals reported two explosions in the city but that the Ukrainian General Staff was clarifying information. Ukrainian Chief of the Main Directorate of the Missile Troops and Artillery and Unmanned Systems Brigadier General Serhiy Baranov notably stated in an interview with the Independent published on November 4 that Ukrainian forces intend to “capitalize” on their learned experiences and conduct large-scale drone strikes on Russian targets when fighting slows in the winter. The Independent reported that Baranov stated that Ukraine intends to build on its “significant successes” with recent drone strikes that targeted critical Russian military assets and naval sites.

Chechen officials announced that Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov appointed his 15-year-old-son Adam to a prominent position in a Chechen security service, though there is confusion over Adam Kadyrov’s exact position. Chechen Duma Chairperson Magomed Daudov, Chechen Republic Press Head Akhmed Dudaev, and Russian State Duma Deputy Adam Delimkhanov stated that Adam holds an unspecified “important position” in the security service of the Head of the Chechen Republic. Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs special regiment commander Zamid Chalaev and Health Minister Adam Alkhanov claimed that Adam Kadyrov was appointed as the head of this security service. Ramzan Kadyrov has not yet commented on his son’s appointment. Ramzan Kadyrov notably headed the security service of his father, former Chechen Republic President Akhmat Kadyrov, in the early 2000s until Akhmat Kadyrov’s death in 2004.Adam Kadyrov will turn 16-years-old on November 24, 2023.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ukrainian forces conducted a successful strike on a Russian shipyard in Kerch, occupied Crimea on November 4, likely damaging a naval vessel. Ukrainian forces reportedly intensified strikes on rear Russian areas in southern Ukraine and occupied Crimea on November 5.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave an interview to NBC and repeated that the war is not in a stalemate.
  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and made confirmed gains in western Zaporizhia Oblast and on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast on November 5.
  • Chechen officials announced that Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov appointed his 15-year-old-son Adam to a prominent position in a Chechen security service, though there is confusion over Adam Kadyrov’s exact position.
  • Courts in the Republic of Dagestan reportedly charged participants in the antisemitic riots on October 29 with minor crimes and issued limited punishments.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced in some areas.
  • A Russian milblogger called on Russian “propagandists” to increase the use of Russian propaganda against Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) held in Russia in an effort to increase the number of “volunteers” in the Russian military.
  • Kremlin-appointed Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova continued to promote the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia under the guise of vacations. 
Share the Post: