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Moving the Russian Navy may not be enough

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Earlier this fall, Vladimir Putin had to cross crawl. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is no longer safe in the port of its main base in Crimea. Ukrainian drones and missiles have repeatedly penetrated the defenses.

Three submarines and two frigates were among the ships that were transferred, according to the Washington Post, from the main base in Sevastopol to other ports on the Russian Black Sea coast.

The bulk of the fleet was transferred to the port of Novorossiysk in Krasnodar. BBC He wrote that satellite images showed at least 17 ships being transferred to the port in October.

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– Permanent base

Meanwhile, Aslan Bezhania, the self-proclaimed president of the Russia-friendly breakaway region of Abkhazia, announced that they had signed an agreement on building a new naval base on their territory.

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Abkhazia is internationally recognized as part of Georgia, but since 2008 the region has been recognized as independent by Russia.

– We signed an agreement and in the near future there will be a permanent base for the Russian Navy in the Ochamchira region, Bezhania told the newspaper. Izvestia.

Ochamchira is located as far east as the Black Sea can get. Newsweek magazine experts spoke of their belief that the base is not just a step to protect its fleet from missile attacks.

That this strategic withdrawal has become inevitable for the Russian Black Sea Fleet is a clear indication of the danger that accompanies the imminent arrival of F-16 fighter jets, says Frederic Mertens, of the Center for Strategic Studies in The Hague.

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One of the Norwegian F-16s that may be fighting for control of Ukrainian airspace. Photography: Burhan Ozbilisi/AP

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American aircraft began arriving at training facilities in the United States, Denmark and Romania. Ukrainian pilots are scheduled to be trained there before the aircraft are deployed in the conflict. Jonas Gahr Støre confirmed in August that Norway would also display F-16s.

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Although it is not yet clear when the planes will arrive in the war-torn country, they will represent a significant upgrade for the Ukrainian air force and pose a far more serious threat to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Mertens claims.

With the help of F-16s, the Ukrainian Air Force will be able to take full advantage of Western weapons systems, and Martens believes that Russian air defense systems will not be enough. The increased strike force in the air over the Black Sea would likely cause Russia to lose its grip on the central parts of the sea, without giving Ukraine control over the regions.

Frederik Mertens sees the withdrawal as a sign that all is not going according to Putin’s plans in the Black Sea, but points out that the port in Ochamshire is a smart move by the president.

Ukraine used old Soviet Su-24 fighter aircraft, equipped with British-supplied Storm Shadow cruise missiles.  Soon the Russian ships could expect stronger resistance from them.  Photograph: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP

Ukraine used old Soviet Su-24 fighter aircraft, equipped with British-supplied Storm Shadow cruise missiles. Soon the Russian ships could expect stronger resistance from them. Photograph: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP

– Serious violations

New satellite images this week will show that construction of the new base in Abkhazia is well underway. This led to fears that Moscow would expand the scope of the war in Ukraine and drag Georgia into the conflict.

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– Such actions represent serious violations of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, says Georgia’s Foreign Minister.

In 2008, Georgia attempted to regain control of Abkhazia, but was defeated with Russian help. Thereafter, the de facto state became deeply integrated with Russia. Russia, for example, already has a military base in the “zone.”

It may seem that the distinction between Abkhazia as a separate breakaway state and the Russian occupation of 20% of Georgia is not clear.

Building a permanent naval base in Ochamchiri would strengthen Russia’s claim to Abkhazia, while at the same time increasing the risk of confrontations with Georgia. However, experts believe this is less likely.

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