Russia has started jamming the GPS (global positioning system) over Crimea to protect its strategically important facilities from further Ukrainian attacks.

According to Naval News, since the beginning of November, a number of vessels in Sevastopol harbor have been reporting their location as Sevastopol International Airport, which is about 8 km north of their actual location. Ships transmit their location through the AIS (automated identification system).

AIS is a system in shipping that serves to identify ships, their dimensions, course, and for use by mobile and fixed civilian services.

Russian ships have been reporting their location as Sevastopol International Airport, likely an unwitting side effect of Russia jamming GPS data in the area. At the same time, radar satellites have picked up significant interference, again indicating jamming. Graphics by Damien Symon.

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Naval News analysts believe that it is possible that ships report their location incorrectly on purpose or due to a variety of technical problems. But this systematic approach suggests that there is something more to it.

The false positions of the vessels are concentrated around the international airport, which may indicate that the source of interference is located there.

Russia is also known to use GPS jamming to protect key facilities. It is used to protect President Vladimir Putin’s stay at the luxurious residence on Cape Idokopas, known as the “Putin Palace.”

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The report also says that after Ukrainian drones began striking Moscow, a GPS jamming system was also deployed there. And the ships were equipped with powerful electronic warfare systems to protect the Russian Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg.

Disabling satellites has a certain military value. Ukraine undoubtedly uses them as one of many tools to monitor the activities of Russian ports and plan strikes.

Earlier it was reported that Russia significantly strengthened security measures over the summer in the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, but this did not save their headquarters on Sept. 22, 2023 from two Storm Shadow missiles. Then, 34 Russian officers were killed in the attack on the headquarters, and it is possible that the fleet commander, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, is among the dead.

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According to British intelligence on June 23, 2023, Russia’s defense of Crimean waters has also been strengthened by an increase in the number of trained marine mammals.

The navy also uses beluga whales and seals in Arctic waters. Russia has trained the animals for a number of missions, but the ones in Sevastopol harbor are most likely intended to counter enemy divers.

Despite all the attempts by the Russians to protect their fleet on the Crimean Peninsula, most of the warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet have left their home port in Sevastopol and seem to be in no hurry to return.

On Nov. 14, a spokesman for Atesh, the partisan movement of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, told Kyiv Post that two months after the missile attacks on Sevastopol, the Ukrainian underground in Crimea confirmed that Russian ships had not returned to their home port, moving to safer bays in the port of Novorossiysk, in the Kuban, in southern Russia.

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Ukrainian agents operating on Russian territory are monitoring the movements of the Russian fleet in the Novorossiysk area and are planning strikes on Russian naval targets there, the source said.

“We know that they [the Russian Navy commanders] are looking for ways to counter Ukrainian strikes. However, earlier in August, there were already strikes on Novorossiysk,” the Atesh representative said.

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