Take it, please! Rusting Ukrainian Navy sits idle in Crimea


January 17, 2018 – FRN – 

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Rusvesna – translated by Inessa Sinchougova 

Why did Kiev not immediately agree to the proposal of Vladimir Putin, to take their remaining military units out of Crimea? The reason became clear after the speech of the former commander of the Ukrainian naval forces Haiduk.

He admitted that, first, there was no money for repairs. And secondly, there are not enough specialists who could repair it – many have left the country.

One of the best naval bays of Sevastopol is Streletskaya. It is here that the temporary parking of the Ukrainian fleet is taking place. And this is only a small portion of the abandoned Ukrainian equipment. 

Without flags or badges, the ships are moored to the shore. “Lutsk”, “Chernigov”, “Khmelnitsky”, “Cherkasy” and “Ternopil” have not been used in almost four years.

After the crew left the ships in March 2014, everything remains as it was – information board is in Ukrainian. Time here seemed to stop. 

Since then, the Russian side has ensured the absolute safety of the parking of these ships. And Ukraine does not allocate money for the maintenance of its own fleet.

“This is one of the best locations – this is  Streletskaya bay. They’re parked here but of course, they do not pay for electricity, for parking, or for a berth, for nothing! These ships are serviced by Russian sailors – 12 people are allocated to each ship,”- emphasizes the Rear Admiral in reserve, executive director of the Institute of CIS countries in Sevastopol, Vladimir Solovyov. 

This military melodrama began after the events of the Crimean spring, when Ukraine hastily began to withdraw its equipment from the peninsula. But they took only the units that were still in good order.

“At the time of the spring of 2014, many of these were already not good for service. For example, the large landing ship Konstantin Olshansky, which is in Donuzlav, is not currently working, so it can not be transported,” states the captain of the first rank in reserve, a professor at the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, military expert Sergei Gorbachev.

“The only Ukrainian Navy submarine “Zaporozhye” by and large is a museum exhibit. Everyone understands this. “

To put these ships into service and to participate in exercises with NATO, is an unlikely scenario for Ukraine. And even the main symbol of Ukrainian sea greatness “Getman Sagaidachny”, which is now based in Odessa, returns to the repair dock each time it leaves for the sea. The same fate awaits the rest of the ships. 

There are also auxiliary vessels, airplanes and an impressive car park. There are hundreds of cars – KamAZ, Ural, KrAZ. Almost all of them do not go – they are without motors and radiators, with broken glass and deflated wheels. These cars were looted and have been in this state for several decades.

The restoration of such equipment, which Ukraine still counts as part of its combat power, is hardly possible, and transportation will cost several times more than disposal. The saga continues. 

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