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Russia Shifts Missile Launches to Azov Sea, Marking Strategic Shift


Russia has initiated launches of “Kalibr” missiles from the Azov Sea towards Ukraine, marking a significant turning point, according to a spokesperson of the Ukrainian Navy. This decision reflects Russia’s shift in deploying ships to the Azov Sea instead of the Black Sea for what they perceive as safer operations.

“Four missiles (of the "Kalibr" type) were fired from the Sea of Azov, and this is an important turning point because they use it as a safer water area than the Black Sea,” said Dmytro Pletenchuk on the air of United News Telethon.

The spokesperson emphasized concerns over Russia’s use of the Azov Sea, noting its proximity to Ukraine despite Russia’s assumption of greater safety. In contrast, he mentioned the presence of a submarine potentially carrying up to four cruise missiles in the Black Sea, while three missile carriers in the Azov Sea could carry up to 20 missiles each.

Russia restricted the use of the Black Sea for airstrikes and operations due to several key factors. Firstly, after Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, Ukraine bolstered its air defense capabilities, making the Black Sea less secure for Russian air operations. Secondly, there was a strong international reaction to Russia’s actions in the Black Sea, with Ukraine receiving support from its allies, further constraining Russian military actions.

Ukraine destroyed several Russian warships, including the frigate “Admiral Makarov” and the minesweeper “Ivan Golubets,” using Ukrainian naval drones and allied-supplied missile systems such as Harpoon and Storm Shadow/SCALP.

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