Ukraine reports an escalation in Russia’s Black Sea fleet

On Saturday, the Ukrainian Defense Forces announced in their Telegram group that Russia has escalated its maritime presence in the Black Sea. The current count stands at 13 ships, comprising five significant amphibious vessels and one surface missile carrier.

Of particular note, the Russian frigate Admiral Makarov, armed with potentially eight Kalibr missiles, has been deployed for combat duty in the region.

Despite facing a powerful storm in the Black Sea on Saturday, Russia proceeded to augment its fleet with additional ships.

Russia to Launch Naval Base Soon at Georgian Breakaway 

According to Abkhazia’s security council, as quoted by the Russian state news agency RIA on Friday, a Russian naval base in Abkhazia, a breakaway territory recognized internationally as part of Georgia, is anticipated to become operational in 2024. This development follows an agreement reached in October between Russian and Abkhazian authorities, permitting Russia to establish a permanent naval base in the town of Ochamchire.

As per the statement from Sergei Shamba, the secretary of Abkhazia’s security council, reported by RIA, the construction of the naval base in Abkhazia has not yet commenced, but there is a possibility that its operation might commence within the current year.

Situated in Ochamchire, a town of 5,000 near the closed frontier between Abkhazia and Georgia, this proposed base would offer a more secure harbor for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. This strategic move comes in response to the repeated and damaging attacks on Russia’s bases in Crimea by Ukraine since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Abkhazia has received substantial support from Russia during its wars in the 1990s and 2008 to secede from Georgia. Russian forces have been stationed in this Caucasus territory for an extended period.

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