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Ukrainian Navy is Slowly Rebuilding

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Matka-class missile boat Priluki in April. RIA/Novosti Photo

Matka-class missile boat Priluki in April. RIA/Novosti Photo

Ukraine has recovered 28 ships from the Russian government following the Russian occupation of Crimea in March, according to information from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

The MoD reported two tugs, a minesweeper and a cutter left Crimea bound for Odessa.

The returned ships are now about half of the ships that were caught up in Russia’s seizure of the peninsula in March.

“As of morning, May 20, 28 combat ships, cutters and vessels of the Ukrainian Navy have been evacuated from Crimea,” according to the Ukrainian MoD.

Since the occupation of Crimea, the Ukrainian Navy has been crippled in its ability to patrol their region relying on five coastal patrol ships and the ageing Hetman Sagaidachny Krivak III-class frigate, USNI News reported from Odessa in April.

A swiftly established dialogue between Ukraine and Russia has facilitated the move of ships from Crimea — the Joint Commission of the Representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian Defense Ministries.

“The return of the warships has been a major boost to the Ukrainian navy as it left more than 50 assorted vessels in Crimea after the Russian intervention,” read a Thursday report in Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Even with the ships in hand, Ukraine still has to struggle to crew the ships and put them into service.
The Ukrainian Navy suffered mass defections after the Russian occupations, including the former head of the navy — Rear Adm. Denys Berezovsky.

The Ukrainian Navy started sea trials this month with the Matka-class missile boat Priluki with a new crew, according to Jane’s.

Filling billets for sailors on the reclaimed ships will be a major challenge for Ukraine, since the center of its naval power was based in Crimea.

A complete transfer of Ukrainian military hardware from Crimea could be completed by June, according to Russian officials.

  • statepark

    I wonder if the Russians will return the Ukrainian submarine they towed away.

    • Secundius

      @ statepark.

      Only after they gut her from bow to stern. And removing every they need to to make her inoperable.

  • EdC

    Give them the Frigates we’re decommissioning and maybe one or two of the AEGIS Cruisers we’re putting in reduced availability mode for a Flagship and senor suite vessel.

    • Secundius

      @ EdC.

      Frigates, maybe. AEGIS Cruisers, NO-WAY.

  • Secundius

    Ukraine Navy or Homeland Littoral Defense Flotilla?

    Considering the Ukraine is essentially landlocked, Wouldn’t be their best interest to have a Littoral Defense Force, then a blue water navy. I don’t think their defense budget would allow for a blue water navy. Transfer over some OLIVER HAZARD PERRY class Frigates and possible some FREEDOM/INDEPENDENCE class LCS to act as “JOHNNY-ON-THE-SPOT” fast perimeter action ships. Maybe a brace on SCS-75 design Sea Control Ships/Through-Deck Carriers. Also train them a Marine Force Recon Brigade, as a fast reaction combat force. And maybe, if were feeling generous
    (48) or so Lockheed-Martin F/AV-35B LIGHTNING II to give the Russian Air Force something to think about.

  • muzzleloader

    The Ukraine Navy in name only. It is now merely an adjunct of the Russian fleet.

  • Brett Allen

    Is there any information about the status of the Slava class cruiser Ukrayina? I know the Russians were trying to buy it for several years. Did they repossess it or return it? She wasn’t mobile but supposedly Ukraine spent a few million a year maintaining her.

    • Secundius

      @ Brett Allen.

      As of 18 March 2014, the Slava class Missile-Cruiser Ukrayina. She no longer bares that name. Whether she was captured, scarped or sold, is unknown.

      The only up up-too-date posting of the ship I could find, was from Global Security Magazine.

  • Secundius

    I thing the only reason Russia annexed Crimea, was just to get their hand on the Ukrainian Shipbuilding Yards. So they can rebuild their Virtual Non-Existing Fleet. By claiming to Protecting the Loyal Russian People living under the oppressive yoke of Ukrainian rule was just a made up excuse.