The Russian Navy, once one of the world's most prestigious and feared, sailed a bit closer towards rust and disintegration on Monday. It announced in Russian and Ukrainian media that that the world's largest nuclear submarine by displacement, the Dmitry Donskoi, was being withdrawn from active duty and would be struck from Kremlin warship lists.

 In 2022, Moscow official media reported that Russia was considering decommissioning the massive Typhoon class submarine, an intercontinental ballistic missile-carrying vessel designed to give Moscow the ability to launch undetected strikes with nuclear device-tipped missiles at targets worldwide. 

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Russia's naval reputation took probably its most serious hit of the war in Ukraine in April 2022 when Ukrainian shore batteries using domestically developed Neptune anti-ship missiles sank the flagship and biggest warship in Moscow's Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser Moskva (Moscow), in a nighttime engagement.

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Flagship Moskva Sinking (credit BBC)

 Reports at the time indicated that the Ukrainian military distracted the Moskva's air defense operators with a drone, allowing two sea skimming Neptunes to slam into the warship unimpeded. Russian authorities initially asserted the damage was from an on-board fire, a claim later rejected by survivors and naval officials. Estimates of sailors killed or drowned in the sinking have ranged from 40 to 600.

In October 2022, two Russian frigates, the Admiral Makarov and the Admiral Essen, were reportedly hit by Ukrainian remote-controlled motorboats carrying explosives. The spectacular kamikaze drone attack, taking place in the supposedly sacrosanct waters of the Black Sea Fleet's home base in Sevastopol harbor, deeply embarrassed Russian naval leaders. It also triggered accusations of incompetence and poor leadership even in Russian state-controlled media.

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 Russian authorities claimed that the ships only suffered minor damage. Ukrainian authorities claimed the Markarov, the replacement Black Sea Fleet flagship, was crippled.  

In March, a Ukrainian surface-to-surface ballistic missile hit the landing ship Orsk, sinking her at moorings in the port of Berdyansk. The Russian military claimed they raised the vessel in June.

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 According to Ukrainian news reports, in other engagements during the first six months of the war, the Black Sea Fleet warship Saratov also was sunk by a missile, and the warships Caesar Kunkov and Novocherkassk were struck but did not sink.

 Ukraine's military has claimed it also destroyed three and damaged two Raptor Class patrol boats, in the vicinity of Snake Island, off-shore from Ukraine's Odesa region. Russian forces captured the strategic site controlling ship and air movement in the north-west Black Sea in March but abandoned it in late June after the Ukrainian military used long-range howitzers recently delivered from France to bombard the island. 

 Russia's naval capacity has deteriorated not only following Ukrainian strikes. In May 2022, two Russian ships, the landing ship Mitrofan Moskalenko and the destroyer Gremyaschiy, both caught fire while dry-docked in Murmansk, Russia. In June 2022,  Russia's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetov was out of service due to a lack of maintenance. In 2019 and again in 2022, the dry-docked ship caught fire, suffering severe damage.

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Allegations of embezzlement of funds have swirled around the ship’s seemingly unending repairs. Russian authorities have claimed the damage will be put right and the ship will stay operational for another quarter of a century.

Russia's likely most notorious naval disaster took place in 2000, when the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sank in water of 108 feet (32 meters) in the Arctic Ocean, trapping the crew at the bottom. Although the sea depth was less than the length of the ship, and other nations led by Britain offered high tech min-subs and highly-trained divers to assist, Vladimir Putin’s government refused international help proposals and attempted a rescue operation of its own. After several days, all 118 men on board succumbed to the cold and lack of oxygen and died.

Kursk Submarine before and after sinking. Credit: RFE/RL

The aging Russian Navy has suffered from a number of problems over the years due to a lack of maintenance, difficult recruiting and limited funding. In recent years the shrinking Russian Navy has been increasingly outpaced by the US and China, whose militaries are locked in an arms race for naval dominance of the West Pacific.

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Comments (11)

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Don
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BoogerTsnottington@gmail.com
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What lies. You should be defunded. Ukraine government are criminals

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Pij
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This article has no content. Headline: Deep ship for Russian navy! Details: Nothing; made you look.

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dlbarra.carlos
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For a dead Russian Federation who is dead ( according to you), he looks and sounds remarkably healthy!

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W Jay
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This is definitely propaganda.. Russian Navy disintegrating or translation of the word is off

L for Putin
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@W Jay, no the russian navy really is disintegrating

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V,PUTIN
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RUSSIA CHINA and INDIA as Allais Will RULE THE WORLD by the Year 2030 !!!! USA NATO and the UK would be nothing more than Banana Republics

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V,PUTIN
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With All these sanctions on Russia!! The Only country that is benefiting is the USA ,, and the one country that is Suffering most ar the stupid English the boodle of the American President!!!

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blackend warvex
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Imagined being offered help to save your nuclear submarine crew and then your country telling potential Rescuers they have it under control and then they all die this is the kind of leadership Russia is the fact that they keep throwing nuclear threat not every one of their problems probably illustrates that their nuclear Arsenal has deteriorated to the point of no use as you need a astronomical sum of income to keep nuclear warheads functional

blackend warvex
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Throwing nuclear threat at everyone*

BoogerTsnottington
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@blackend warvex, yet America is the only country to drop the atomic bomb.

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dlbarra.carlos
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They do have astronomical sums of money. Up your’s, mate!

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Philip Reed
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I guess when things are going horribly wrong in the ground war and within the government itself one must deflect by emphasizing Russia’s naval shortcomings. Which in reality won’t affect the dynamics of this particular conflict.
What we really need is honest reporting regarding Ukraine’s dire position in this war.
It’s horrific military manpower and weapons losses. The continuing needless suffering of its citizens who are being used cynically by the US in order to “ weaken Russia “ as Lloyd Austin and others openly state.
Every honest observer knows this could have all been avoided if a) the US hadn’t instagated an illegal violent coup in 2014. Thus provoking a separatist movement in the Donbass. We also know thanks to revelations of Poroshenko,Merkel and Hollandethat the Minsk accords were conducted in bad faith.
If Zelensky had stuck to his election promise instead of caving to extremist pressure from the US and ultra-nationalists ,this could have been avoided.
Doesn’t a compromise of two autonomous republics within a Ukrainian Confederation look in hindsight to be far better than todays tragedy. As for Crimea ,again be honest. It’s 80% ethnic Russians and was Russian since 1783 and the referendum,whether the west liked it our or expressed the true will of the vast majority of Crimeans.
In closing its time to face reality and grab what you can from a rational peace deal before Ukraine becomes a landlocked rump state.

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Philmo
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Hope the Russians are scuttling responsibly, unlike the Brazilians!

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John
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No one will survived the WW3 not even the cockroach

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