Where is Ukraine’s Navy?

Where is Ukraine’s Navy?

Ukraine's Navy Largely Unused While Faced with Russian Black Sea Fleet.


One question that has been brought up throughout the Russian invasion is “where is Ukraine’s Navy?” I will be looking at this question in regards to their naval vessels rather than personnel who carry out an array of communications, intelligence, and logistical operations. Ukraine had lost most of its naval vessels (nearly 75%) following the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, which resulted in the capture of the Sevastopol Naval Base. Since then, Ukraine’s naval vessels, which now consists of about two dozen ships plus auxiliary support and patrol craft, have largely been docked in Mykolaiv, Berdyansk, Mariupol, and Odessa.

Looking at Russia’s naval presence in the area, there is the entire Black Sea Fleet made up of over 40 surface vessels, including several cruisers, frigates, and corvettes, as well as additional naval vessels from the Baltics and Mediterranean that have include other warships and landing craft. Ukraine’s Navy is vastly outnumbered and outgunned. A quote by Ukraine Navy Captain Oleksandr Surkov to France24 sums up their situation perfectly: “Our weapons are mostly designed to protect our state borders, not to wage war.” Since the annexation of Crimea, Ukraine had slowly attempted to rebuild its naval fighting force with help from the United States, however, they were never able to make up for its losses by the time the invasion happened.

Ukraine’s Navy found itself in a particularly difficult situation as any vessel sent to sea would likely be intercepted by ship-launched Kalibr cruise missiles or aircraft. So far, Ukraine’s only confirmed at sea loss was that of the Island-class patrol boat “Slovyansk” (P190), which the Ukrainian Navy stated was sunk near Odessa on March 3 by a Russian aircraft. With that in mind and what we have seen so far from the conflict, Ukrainian vessels have largely remained docked. With Ukrainian vessels remaining in port, their largest threat is missile strikes or being captured by Russian ground forces. We have already seen this with Ukraine’s flagship vessel, the Krivak III class frigate “Hetman Sahaydachniy,” which was intentionally scuttled in Mykolaiv to prevent capture a few days after the invasion kicked off.


On Monday, March 14, Russian forces captured what they say was a dozen Ukrainian naval vessels in Berdyansk. Footage taken by state-owned RT visually confirms a number of vessels were captured:

Two Gyurza-M class gunboats (P174 Akkerman & P179 Vyshhorod):


Sorum-class tug A830 Korets (P186):


Five Kalkan-class Ukrainian Sea Guard patrol boats (BG310, BG14, BG24, BG311, & Unknown): 


As of right now there doesn’t appear to be any other footage or pictures available at the moment to further corroborate the claim that a dozen naval vessels were captured. Likewise, it is unclear if they considered the Ukrainian Sea Guard vessels as being naval vessels. Ukraine’s naval forces continue to dwindle as Russian ground forces make progress in pushing along the Black Sea coast line. It remains unclear exactly how many vessels remain in Ukraine’s arsenal, but it is evident that they are not being used for the most part anyways.


Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.
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