|Russian Black Sea Fleet|
|Russian: Черноморский флот|
|Active||May 13, 1783 – present|
Amphibious military operations;
Combat patrols in the Black Sea;
Naval presence/diplomacy missions in the Mediterranean and elsewhere
|Size||25,000 personnel (including marines)|
c. 40 surface warships (surface combatants, amphibious, mine warfare) plus support and auxiliaries
7 submarines (2 of which are in the Mediterranean as of March 2022)
|Part of||Russian Armed Forces|
|Garrison/HQ||Sevastopol (HQ), Feodosia (Crimea) |
Novorossiysk, Tuapse, Temryuk (Krasnodar Krai)
Taganrog (Rostov Oblast)
|Vice-Adm. Viktor Sokolov|
Adm. Fyodor Ushakov
Adm. Alexander Menshikov
Adm. Yevgeni Alekseyev
Adm. Alexander Kolchak
Adm. Ivan Yumashev
Adm. Filipp Oktyabrskiy
Adm. Lev Vladimirsky
Fleet Adm. Sergey Gorshkov
Fleet Adm. Vladimir Kasatonov
Adm. Vladimir Masorin
|Navies of Russia|
The Black Sea Fleet (Russian: Черноморский флот, Chernomorskiy flot) is the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean Sea. The Black Sea Fleet, along with other Russian ground and air forces on the Crimean Peninsula, are subordinate to the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces.
The fleet traces its history to its founding by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783. The Russian SFSR inherited the fleet in 1918; with the founding of the Soviet Union in 1922, it became part of the Soviet Navy. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Black Sea Fleet was partitioned between the Russian Federation and Ukraine in 1997, with Russia receiving title to 82% of the vessels.
The Black Sea Fleet has its official primary headquarters and facilities in Sevastopol, which Russia annexed from Ukraine, along with the rest of Crimea, in 2014. The rest of the fleet's facilities are based in locations on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, including Krasnodar Krai, Rostov Oblast and Crimea. The appointment of the current[update] commander, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, was announced on August 16, 2022.
The Black Sea Fleet is considered to have been founded by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783, together with its principal base, the city of Sevastopol. Formerly commanded by admirals such as Dmitry Senyavin and Pavel Nakhimov, it is a fleet of great historical and political importance for Russia. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 Russian control over Crimea was confirmed and Russian naval forces under the command of Admiral Fyodor Ushakov defeated the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Kerch Strait in 1790, preventing the Turks from landing a force in Crimea.
During the French Revolutionary Wars, the Black Sea Fleet was initially deployed under the command of Admiral Ushakov, in conjunction with the Turks, against French forces during the Siege of Corfu. The victory led to the establishment of the Septinsular Republic with the island of Corfu then serving as a base for Russian naval units in the Mediterranean operating against the French.
Turkey, encouraged by the French, went to war with Russia in the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812. The Russian fleet (deploying from the Baltic, but joining some vessels of the Black Sea Fleet already in the Mediterranean prior to the outbreak of war) under the command of Admiral Dmitry Senyavin played an instrumental role in this conflict securing victories at both the Battle of the Dardanelles (1807) and the Battle of Athos.
After the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, the Russians, together with the British and French, intervened in the Greek War of Independence defeating the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Navarino in 1827 and helping to secure Greek independence (though once again, the Russian fleet was compelled to deploy from the Baltic). Turkish closure of the Dardanelles Straits then sparked a renewed Russo-Turkish conflict from 1828 to 1829 which led to the Russians gaining further territory along the eastern Black Sea.
The restriction imposed on the Black Sea Fleet by Turkish control of the Straits was influential in motivating Russia from time-to-time to attempt to secure control of the passage, which became a recurrent theme in Russian policy. From 1841 onward, the Russian fleet was formally confined to the Black Sea by the London Straits Convention.
Main article: Crimean War
Within the Black Sea itself, the Turks found themselves at a naval disadvantage in relation to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. In 1853, the Black Sea Fleet destroyed Turkish naval forces at the Battle of Sinop after the Turks had declared war on Russia. Nevertheless, during the ensuing Crimean War, the Russians were placed on the defensive and the allies were able to land their forces in Crimea and, ultimately, capture Sevastopol.
As a result of the Crimean War, one provision of the 1856 Treaty of Paris was that the Black Sea was to be a demilitarized zone similar to the Island of Åland in the Baltic Sea.
This hampered the Russians during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 and in the aftermath of that conflict, Russia moved to reconstitute its naval strength and fortifications in the Black Sea.
The Black Sea Fleet would play an instrumental political role in the 1905 Russian Revolution with the crew of the battleship Potemkin revolting in 1905 soon after the Navy's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War. The revolt acquired a symbolic character in the lead up to the Russian Revolutions of 1917 and after, as portrayed in the 1925 film by Sergei Eisenstein, Battleship Potemkin. Lenin wrote that the Potemkin uprising had had a huge importance in terms of being the first attempt at creating the nucleus of a revolutionary army.
During World War I, there were a number of encounters between the Russian and Ottoman navies in the Black Sea. The Ottomans initially had the advantage due to having under their command the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben, but after the two modern Russian dreadnoughts Imperatritsa Mariya and Imperatritsa Ekaterina Velikaya had been built in Nikolaev, the Russians took command of the sea until the Russian government collapsed in November 1917. German submarines of the Constantinople Flotilla and Turkish light forces would continue to raid and harass Russian shipping until the war's end.
In 1918, some elements of the fleet were interned by the Central Powers as a result of their advance into South Russia. In the April Crimea operation, the goal of both Ukrainians and Germans was to get control over the Black Sea Fleet, anchored in Sevastopol. Former Chief of Staff Mikhail Sablin raised the colours of the Ukrainian National Republic on 29 April 1918, and moved a portion of the Ukrainian fleet (two battleships and fourteen destroyers) to Novorossiysk in order to save it from capture by the Germans.
He was ordered to scuttle his ships by Lenin but refused to do so. Most ships returned to Sevastopol, where they first came under German control. In November 1918 they came under control of the Allies, who later gave the ships to Wrangel's fleet of the Whites.
In 1919, following the collapse of the Central Powers' occupation in Western Russia, the Red Fleet of Ukraine was established out of certain remnants of the Russian Imperial Fleet. However, subsequently these elements were either scuttled or captured by the Western Allies. During the ensuing Russian Civil War, the chaotic political and strategic situation in southern Russia permitted the intervening Western allies to occupy Odessa, Sevastopol and other centres with relative ease.
Most of the ships of the Black Sea Fleet became part of the "Russian Squadron" of Wrangel's armed forces. Following the defeat of anti-Bolshevik forces and the evacuation of Crimea by White forces, the fleet itself sailed to Tunisia. Out of those ships, some passed to the French Navy while others were sold as scrap.
With the defeat of the anti-Bolshevik Armed Forces of South Russia, the Soviet government took control of all naval elements. The few ships that remained in the Black Sea were scrapped in the 1920s and a large scale new construction programme began in the 1930s. Over 500 new ships were built during that period and a massive expansion of coastal infrastructure took place. The Black Sea Fleet was commanded by Vice Admiral F.S. Oktyabrskiy on the outbreak of war with Germany in June 1941.
During World War II despite the scale of the German/Axis advance in southern Russia, and the capture of Crimea by Axis forces in mid-1942, the Fleet, though badly mauled, gave a credible account of itself as it fought alongside the Red Army during the Siege of Odessa and the Battle of Sevastopol.
Soviet hospital ship Armenia was sunk on 7 November 1941 by German aircraft while evacuating civilians and wounded soldiers from Crimea. It has been estimated that approximately 5,000 to 7,000 people were killed during the sinking, making it one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history. There were only 8 survivors.
With the end of World War II, the Soviet Union effectively dominated the Black Sea region. The Soviet Union controlled the entire north and east of the Black Sea while pro-Soviet regimes were installed in Romania and Bulgaria. As members of the Warsaw Pact, the Romanian and Bulgarian navies supplemented the strength of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet. Only Turkey remained outside the Soviet Black Sea security regime and the Soviets initially pressed for joint control of the Bosporus Straits with Turkey; a position which Turkey rejected.
In 1952, Turkey decided to join NATO, placing the Bosporus Straits in the Western sphere of influence. Nevertheless, the terms of the Montreux Convention limited NATO's options with respect to directly reinforcing Turkey's position in the Black Sea. The Soviets, in turn, had some of their naval options in the Mediterranean restricted by the Montreux Convention limitations.
In the later post-war period, along with the Northern Fleet, the Black Sea Fleet provided ships for the 5th Operational Squadron in the Mediterranean, which confronted the United States Navy during the Arab-Israeli wars, notably during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
In 1988 Coastal Troops and Naval Aviation units of the Black Sea Fleet included:
In 1989, the 126th Motor Rifle Division at Simferopol was transferred to the Black Sea Fleet from the Odesa Military District. Also that year, the 119th Fighter Aviation Division, with the 86th Guards, 161st, and 841st Guards Fighter Aviation Regiments, joined the Fleet from the 5th Air Army. The 86th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment became part of the Moldovan Air Force upon the breakup of the Soviet Union. The 841st at Meria airport (between Poti and Batumi in the Adjar ASSR) (Georgian SSR) became the 841st independent Guards Anti-Submarine Helicopter Regiment in May 1991 and was disbanded in October 1992.
The 43rd Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Regiment of Fighter-Bombers, after being included in the Air Force of the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet on December 1, 1990, was renamed the 43rd Separate Naval Assault Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Regiment.
With the fall of the Soviet Union and the demise of the Warsaw Pact, the military importance of the fleet was degraded and it suffered significant funding cuts and the loss of its major missions.
In 1992, the major part of the personnel, armaments and coastal facilities of the Fleet fell under formal jurisdiction of the newly independent Ukraine as they were situated on Ukrainian territory. Later, the Ukrainian government ordered the establishment of its own Ukrainian Navy based on the Black Sea Fleet; several ships and ground formations declared themselves Ukrainian.
However, this immediately led to conflicts with the majority of officers who appeared to be loyal to Russia. According to pro-Ukrainian sailors they were declared "drunkards and villains" and they and their families were harassed. They have also claimed that their names were branded "traitors to Russia" on local graffiti. Simultaneously, pro-Russian separatist groups became active in the local politics of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol where the major naval bases were situated, and started coordinating their efforts with pro-Moscow seamen. During this time the Georgian Civil War broke out. Fighting erupted between two separatist minorities of South Ossetia and Abkhazia supported by Russia on one side and the Georgian government led by Zviad Gamsakhurdia on the other. However, he was ousted during the so-called Tbilisi War in 1991. The new government continued the fighting against the break-away republics, but at the same time asked Russia's president Boris Yeltsin for support against the 'Zviadists' who were trying to regain power. This led to the Black Sea Fleet landing in Georgia (despite the unsettled dispute over ownership of the fleet), and resulted in the Battle of Poti.
Presidents Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine and Boris Yeltsin of Russia negotiated terms for dividing the fleet, and to ease the tensions, on 10 June 1995 the two governments signed an interim treaty, establishing a joint Russo-Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet under bilateral command (and Soviet Navy flag) until a full-scale partition agreement could be reached. Formally, the Fleet's Commander was to be appointed by a joint order of the two countries' presidents. However, Russia still dominated the Fleet unofficially, and a Russian admiral was appointed as Commander; the majority of the fleet personnel adopted Russian citizenship. Minor tensions between the Fleet and the new Ukrainian Navy (such as electricity cut-offs and sailors' street-fighting) continued.
In 1996 the 126th Motor Rifle Division was disestablished.
Moscow mayor Yuriy Luzhkov campaigned to annex the city of Sevastopol, which housed the fleet's headquarters and main naval base, and in December the Russian Federation Council officially endorsed the claim. Spurred by these territorial claims, Ukraine proposed a "special partnership" with NATO in January 1997.
On 28 May 1997, Russia and Ukraine signed several agreements regarding the fleet including the Partition Treaty, establishing two independent national fleets and dividing armaments and bases between them. Ukraine agreed to lease major parts of its facilities to the Russian Black Sea Fleet until 2017. However, permanent tensions on the lease details continued. The Fleet's main base was still situated in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol. In 2009 the Yushchenko Ukrainian government declared that the lease would not be extended and that the fleet would have to leave Sevastopol by 2017.
Due to the lack of fleet facilities in Russia, the former naval area at the Port of Novorossiysk was revived in September 1994, and officially reorganised as Novorossiysk Naval Base in 1997. The Russian Federation planned to house the headquarters and the bulk of the fleet there, and undertook a major upgrade of Novorossiysk military facilities starting in 2005 and finishing in 2022.
In April 2010 President Yanukovych renegotiated and extended the Russian leasehold until 2042 and an option for an additional five years until 2047 plus consideration of further renewals. This deal proved controversial in Ukraine. It appeared to violate the constitutional ban on basing foreign military forces, and would eventually lead to high treason charges.
In this regard, relations between Russia and Ukraine over the status of the Fleet continued to be strained. In an August 2009 letter to Russian President Medvedev, Ukrainian President Yushchenko complained about alleged "infringements of bilateral agreements and Ukrainian legislation"
In June 2009, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine said that after December 13, 2009, all officers from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) represented at the Black Sea Fleet would be required to leave Ukraine. From then, the Security Service of Ukraine would ensure the security of the Black Sea Fleet, including Russian sailors on Ukrainian territory. However, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, employees of the FSB working at the Black Sea Fleet facilities were to remain on Ukrainian territory "in line with bilateral agreements". In 2010, based on an agreement between the Ukrainian and Russian governments, military counterintelligence officers from the Federal Security Service returned to the Black Sea Fleet base.
Despite these differences, joint exercises between the Ukrainian Navy and the Black Sea Fleet of Russia resumed with a command-staff exercise in June 2010 after a seven-year interval. In May 2011, Russia and Ukraine resumed their joint "Peace Fairway" (Farvater Mira) naval exercises.
The newly independent nation of Georgia, which also hosted several bases of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet when it was the Georgian SSR, also claimed a share of the Fleet, including 32 naval vessels formerly stationed at Georgia's Black Sea port of Poti. Not a CIS member at that time, Georgia was not, however, included in the initial negotiations in January 1992. Additionally, some low-importance bases situated in the Russian-backed breakaway autonomy of Abkhazia soon escaped any Georgian control.
In 1996, Georgia resumed its demands, and the Russian refusal to allot Georgia a portion of the ex-Soviet navy became another bone of contention in the progressively deteriorating Georgian-Russian relations. This time, Ukraine endorsed Tbilisi's claims, turning over several patrol boats to the Georgian Navy and starting to train Georgian crews, but was unable to include in the final fleet deal a transfer of the formerly Poti-based vessels to Georgia. Later, the rest of the Georgian share was decided to be ceded to Russia in return for diminution of debt.
Russia employed part of the fleet during the 2008 Georgian conflict. Russian units operating off Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region resulted in a reported skirmish and sinking of a ship of the Georgian Navy. Since the 2008 South Ossetia war the Russian Black Sea Fleet has not taken part in any joint naval exercises involving Georgian warships. However, such a statement has little meaning since the Georgian Navy has ceased to exist (early 2009 it was merged with the Georgian coast guard).
The 2014 political crisis in Ukraine rapidly engulfed Crimea where pro-Russian separatist sentiment was strong.[better source needed] When the Russian Government determined to seize Crimea, specialist Russian military units appear to have played the central role. In March, the Ukrainians claimed that units of the 18th Motor Rifle Brigade, 31st Air Assault Brigade and 22nd Spetsnaz Brigade were deployed and operating in Crimea, instead of Black Sea Fleet personnel, which violated international agreements signed by Ukraine and Russia. Nevertheless, at minimum the Black Sea Fleet played a supporting role including with respect to preventing the departure of Ukrainian naval vessels from Crimea. Other sources suggested that the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade of the Fleet was also involved.
After the 2014 Crimean crisis, the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Ukrainian Navy were evicted from their bases and subsequently withdrew from Crimea. During the occupation, Russian forces seized 54 out of 67 ships of the Ukrainian Navy.[unreliable source] According to sources from Black Sea Fleet Headquarters, inspections of all ships were to be done by the end of 2014.[better source needed]
On 8 April 2014 an agreement was reached between Russia and Ukraine to return Ukrainian Navy materials to Ukraine proper. The greater portion of the Ukrainian naval ships and vessels were then returned to Ukraine but Russia suspended this process after Ukraine did not renew its unilaterally declared ceasefire on 1 July 2014 in the conflict in the Donbas. According to the fleet commander Aleksandr Vitko, this happened because the vessels were old "and, if used [by Ukraine], could hurt its own people".
From that point, Russia proceeded to consolidate its military position in Crimea, which it now regards as an integral part of the Russian Federation, though this position is not one supported by most of the international community.
The Russian seizure of Crimea in 2014 changed the situation and role of the Black Sea Fleet significantly. Analysis undertaken by Micheal Peterson of the US Naval War College suggests that since the Russian seizure of Crimea, the modernization of Russian shore-based assets and of the Black Sea Fleet itself has assisted in re-establishing Russian military dominance in the region. Specifically Peterson argues: "Russian maritime dominance in the Black Sea is back. The shift was made possible by Moscow's 2014 seizure of Crimea and subsequent buildup of combat and maritime law enforcement capabilities in the region".
Prior to the annexation of Crimea, divergent announcements were made concerning the future composition of the fleet. In June 2010, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky announced that Russia was reviewing plans for the naval modernization of the Black Sea Fleet. The plans include 15 new warships and submarines by 2020. These vessels were to partially replace the reported decommissioning of Kerch, Ochakov (decommissioned in 2011 and sunk as a blockship in 2014), several large support ships, and a diesel-electric submarine. Also in 2010, Russian Navy Headquarters sources said that, by 2020, six frigates of the Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov class, six submarines of Project 677 Lada class, two large landing ships of Project 11711 Ivan Gren class and four class-unspecified ships would be delivered. Due to the obsolescence of the Beriev Be-12 by 2015, they would be replaced with Il-38s. Sukhoi Su-24M aircraft were planned to be upgraded to Su-24M2 at the same time.
Since the annexation of Crimea, the composition of the Black Sea Fleet has shifted to focus on the Improved Kilo-class submarines instead of the Lada, the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates and at least three new classes of missile corvettes (the Steregushchiy, Karakurt and Buyan-M classes). The deployment of the Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate with the Black Sea Fleet was still anticipated, though in reduced numbers. The replacement of the Black Sea Fleet's Soviet-era missile boats and corvettes with vessels of more modern design has been a priority since 2010. A similar modernization is also taking place in the Baltic Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla. Utilizing Russia's internal waterways provides the Russian Navy with the capacity to transfer both corvettes and other light units, such as landing craft, among its three western fleets and the Caspian Flotilla as may be required. Analysis in May 2022 suggested that it may be feasible for the Russian Navy even to move its Kilo-class submarines between the Black Sea and the Baltic via the internal waterways.
The projection of power into the Mediterranean has also returned as a significant role for the Black Sea Fleet with the creation of the Russian Navy's permanent task force in the Mediterranean. Both the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla have supported Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War with units from the former now routinely deployed into the Mediterranean. The deployment of submarines from the Black Sea Fleet to the Mediterranean has become a routine occurrence (though the need to send them for "maintenance" in the Baltic, so as to comply with terms of the Montreux Convention, lengthens the timeframe of such deployments significantly). In late 2021 it was reported that one of the new Priboy-class helicopter assault ships, the Mitrofan Moskalenko, had been earmarked to enter service with the Black Sea Fleet in the latter 2020s in the role of fleet flagship. If confirmed such a deployment would significantly enhance the fleet's power projection capabilities.
Also significant is the build-up of Russian surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missile assets in the region. Dmitry Gorenburg of the Centre for Naval Analysis (CNA) has noted that: "Russia's expanded military footprint in Crimea allows it to carry out a range of operations that it was not capable of prior to 2014. The deployment of S-400, Bastion, and Bal missiles allows the Russian military to establish an anti-access/area denial zone (A2/AD) covering almost all of the Black Sea. By using a combination of ground-based and ship-based missiles, backed with strong electronic warfare capabilities, the Russian military can inhibit military movement into the Black Sea and deny freedom of action to an opponent if it does make it into the theater. The long-range sea-, air-, and ground-launched missiles deny access, while shorter-range coastal and air defense systems focus on the area denial mission. The result is several interlocking air defense zones".
Ongoing technological upgrades of this already robust SAM network are planned for the 2020s. Others, such as Michael Kofman of CNA, argue that while there is no A2/AD doctrine or term in Russian military strategy, Russian forces nevertheless are organized at an operational and strategic level to deploy a wide range of overlapping defensive and offensive capabilities that extend beyond just one theatre of operations like the Black Sea.
The evident American response to the dense shore-based anti-ship and air defence capabilities that Russia has developed in the Black Sea region, and elsewhere, has been to place greater emphasis on striking at potential Black Sea and other targets utilizing stand-off air-launched cruise missiles deployed on American long-range bombers. Additionally, the United States, the United Kingdom and Turkey have entered into contracts to supply new corvettes, missile-armed fast attack craft, patrol boats and unmanned air vehicles to the Ukrainian Navy.
In 2020, the Black Sea Fleet obtained seven new warships and auxiliary ships, including corvette Grayvoron, patrol ship Pavel Derzhavin, seagoing tug Sergey Balk, as well as a harbour tugs and three hydrographic survey vessels. In 2021, the same number of vessels should enter service.
On 29 January 2021, three US naval vessels entered the Black Sea for the first time in three years. On 1 February, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky argued for NATO membership for Ukraine. On 19 March, another significant US naval deployment to the Black Sea took place, as cruiser USS Monterey and destroyer USS Thomas Hudner entered the sea on 19 and 20 March respectively. Prior to the scheduled deployment, on 12 March Russian cruiser Moskva made an exit to sea and on 19 March all six submarines of the Black Sea Fleet went to sea, which was an unprecedented event.
Russian ground forces also started a buildup on the border with Ukraine. On 2 April, Zelensky had his first telephone conversation with Biden, and on 6 April he called NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg pressuring NATO to speed up Ukrainian path to the membership. On 8 April, Russia started moving ten of its Caspian Flotilla warships to the Black Sea. Six amphibious and three artillery boats of Serna and Shmel classes, as well as a hydrographic boat GS-599, were reported in transit, while Black Sea Fleet frigate Admiral Essen conducted an artillery exercise, usually done to raise the readiness for the amphibious landing. The same day, the US decided to send two warships to the Black Sea.
On 9 April 2021, tensions rose further and Ukraine promised not to attack the separatists, while Russia considered intervening to prevent bloodshed. On the same day, two Black Sea Fleet corvettes, Vishny Volochyok and Gravoron, conducted an exercise. The two US destroyers were clarified by Turkey to be USS Roosevelt and USS Donald Cook, while Putin stressed the importance of the Montreux Convention in a telephone conversation with Turkish president Recep Erdogan. On 14 April, the deployment of the two US destroyers was cancelled. On 17 April, amphibious ships Aleksandr Otrakovsky and Kondoponga of the Northern Fleet and Kaliningrad and Korolyov of the Baltic Fleet strengthened the amphibious warfare capabilities of the Black Sea Fleet. On 30 April, the cruiser Moskva fired a Vulkan anti-ship missile for the first time.
In November, further tensions started amidst the build-up of Russian ground forces on the Ukraine border. On 2 November, the destroyer USS Porter entered the Black Sea, followed on 25 November by the destroyer USS Arleigh Burke. In late October, the Russian Black Sea fleet held a large exercise with a cruiser, a frigate and three corvettes.
Main article: 2021 Black Sea incident
On 23 June 2021, the United Kingdom's HMS Defender undertook a freedom of navigation patrol through the disputed waters around the Crimean Peninsula. The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and border guards said they fired warning shots from coast guard patrol ships and dropped bombs from a Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft in the path of Defender after, according to the Russian Defence Ministry, it had allegedly strayed for about 20 minutes as far as 3 km (2 miles) into waters off the coast of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 in a move mostly unrecognised internationally. The UK military denied any warning shots were fired and said the ship was in innocent passage in Ukraine's territorial sea, later clarifying that heavy guns were fired three miles astern and could not be considered to be warning shots.
Main article: 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
A build-up of Russian forces around Ukraine and in Belarus began toward the end of 2021, ostensibly for exercises. In February 2022, the Black Sea Fleet was reinforced by six landing ships: three Ropucha-class vessels (Minsk (127), Korolev (130) and Kaliningrad (102)) were drawn from the Baltic Fleet while two (Georgy Pobedonosets (016) and Olenegorsky Gornyak (012)) came from the Northern Fleet. The Ivan Gren-class landing ship, Pyotr Morgunov (117) also deployed to the Black Sea from the Northern Fleet. The 22nd Army Corps (subordinate to the Black Sea Fleet) was also reinforced, including by the 247th Regiment of the 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division as well as by the 56th Guards Air Assault Regiment, subordinate to the same division. On the eve of the conflict, it was reported that the headquarters of the 58th Combined Arms Army had deployed to Crimea commanding between 12 and 17 battalion tactical groups.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24 and it was initially reported that this included an amphibious landing at Odesa by elements of Russian Naval Infantry and the Black Sea Fleet. However, the report of a landing at Odesa on February 24 subsequently proved to be false. On February 24, the cruiser Moskva and the patrol ship Vasily Bykov bombarded Snake Island in the Danube Delta and captured it from its Ukrainian garrison. On February 26 it was reported that Russian forces made an amphibious assault at Mariupol utilizing half of their landing ships in the Black Sea. A second Russian amphibious group was said still to be positioned in the vicinity of Odesa.
On February 28, Turkey indicated that it was closing the Dardanelles Straits to all foreign warships for the duration of the conflict. Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, argued that the move was consistent with terms of the Montreux Convention. An exception would be allowed for Russian ships returning from the Mediterranean to Black Sea bases where they were registered.
As of early March the Ukrainian navy was confirmed to have lost two vessels: the frigate Hetman Sahaidachny, scuttled by its crew to avoid capture, and the patrol vessel Sloviansk, reported sunk by Russian action on March 3. On March 7 it was reported that the Russian patrol ship Vasily Bykov may have been damaged by Ukrainian shore-based multiple-launch rocket fire. However, the ship was subsequently reported as having entered Sevastopol on March 16 with no obvious damage.
On March 14, the Russian source RT reported that the Russian Armed Forces had captured about a dozen Ukrainian ships in Berdyansk. The vessels reported as captured included two Gyurza-M-class artillery boats (including Akkerman), the Matka-class missile boat Pryluky, a Project 1124P (Grisha II)-class corvette (likely an already decommissioned vessel given the absence of active ships of this class in the Ukrainian navy), a Zhuk-class patrol boat, a Yevgenya-class minesweeper, the Polnocny-class landing ship Yuri Olefirenko and a Ondatra-class landing craft.
On March 19, 2022, the Deputy Commander of Russian Black Sea Fleet Captain First Rank Andrey Nikolaevich Paliy was reportedly killed in action near Mariupol in Ukraine. On March 24, the Ukrainian military hit and destroyed the Russian Tapir-class landing ship Saratov at the Port of Berdiansk. Also it became known that Saratov has been salvaged and will be towed to Kerch, Crimea. Two Ropucha-class landing ships were possibly damaged in the same attack.
On March 30 it was reported that, as part of an operation by Russian special forces, the Ukrainian navy Project 1824B reconnaissance ship Pereyaslav was reportedly hit by gunfire at the mouth of the Dnieper river. The extent of the damage was unknown.
Also in March, the Russian Navy bombed several civilian ships, including a cargo ship belonging to Bangladesh.
On 13 April 2022, Moskva, the fleet's flagship, was severely damaged after an explosion. The Ukrainian government claimed it had hit the ship with two Neptune cruise missiles. The Russian government claimed the damage was a result of an ammunition explosion. According to the Russian government, everyone on the ship was evacuated. On 14 April, the Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed the ship had sunk. On 15 April, a United States senior defense official confirmed that the ship was hit by two Ukrainian Neptune missiles about 65 nautical miles south of Odesa. On May 6 a letter from the Black Sea Fleet's prosecutor general's office to the family of one of the sailors lost on the Moskva was made public. Families will not be receiving compensation as "the sinking took place in international waters by accident".
In early May, Ukraine claimed to have destroyed two Russian Raptor-class patrol boats along with a Serna Class landing craft using a Ukrainian Baykar Bayraktar TB2 Unmanned Air Combat Vehicle (UCAV) near Snake Island.
On May 8, Ukrainian officials released footage showing the destruction of two Raptor-class patrol boats and the damaging of a third one, adding that 46 Russian crew members were killed during the operation.
On May 12, Ukrainian news media carried reports that, according to the Odesa military spokesman, the Russian logistics vessel Vsevolod Bobrov was on fire near Snake Island. Russia denied the claims. Three days later, a US-backed media outlet carried photographs of the ship unharmed moored at Sevastopol. The ship was also seen with the Pantsir-S mobile surface-to-air missile system on board while docked in Sevastopol.
On May 15, four Kalibr missiles launched from the Black Sea hit Ukrainian military facilities at Yavoriv, near Lviv. The attack was "probably" carried out by submarines. Lviv region's Governor Maxim Kozitsky acknowledged that the target was "completely destroyed".
On May 17, the Ministry of Defense of Russia reported that seaborne Kalibr missiles struck railway facilities at Starichi station near Lviv the night before. The attack was aimed at NATO weapons deliveries to Ukraine. Governor Maxim Kozitsky confirmed the damage on railway infrastructure. The command of the Ukrainian Air Defence claims the shooting down of three missiles in the area.
On June 17, Russian rescue tug Vasily Bekh was reportedly sunk due to two hits by anti-ship missiles (putatively of type Harpoon) while carrying personnel, weapons, and ammunition to resupply Russian-occupied Snake Island.
On July 31, a drone strike at the fleet headquarters in Sevastopol wounded several people and forced the cancellation of Navy Day commemorations. On August 9, huge explosions occurred at Saky airbase, destroying several fighter planes of the fleet's naval aviation. Some days later, an anonymous Western official said that "[w]e now assess that the events of ..August 9 put more than half of [the] Black Sea fleet's naval aviation combat jets out of use." On August 16, Hvardiiske airbase, a large ammunition dump in Maiske, and an electrical substation in Dzhankoi were hit with explosions, and on August 19 large explosions were heard at Belbek and Russian antiaircraft batteries were active around the Crimean Bridge at Kerch.
On August 17, Russian state media announced that Viktor Sokolov had been appointed commander of the fleet without any ceremony, apparently due to the yellow terrorist threat level following a series of explosions.
Viktor Sokolov said on May 12, 2023, that the fleet's coastal missile and artillery troops had struck 70 Ukrainian targets since the war began.
|1||VADM||Aleksey Fedotovich Klokachev||1783|
|2||VADM||Yakov Filippovich Sukhotin||1784 – 1785|
|3||RADM||Nikolay Semenovich Mordvinov||1785 – 1789|
|4||RADM||Marko Ivanovich Voynovich||1789 – 1790|
|5||RADM||Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov||1790 – 1792|
|#||ADM||Nikolay Semenovich Mordvinov||1792 – 1799|
|6||ADM||Vilim Petrovich Fondezin||1799 – 1802|
|7||ADM||Aleksandr Ivanovich de Travers||1802 – 1811|
|8||ADM||Roman Romanovich Gall||1811|
|9||VADM||Nikolay Lvovich Yazykov||1811 – 1816|
|10||ADM||Aleksey Samuilovich Greig||1816 – 1833|
|11||ADM||Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev||1834 – 1851|
|12||ADM||Morits Borisovich Berg||1851 – 1855|
|13||VADM||Nikolay Fedorovich Metlin||Sep 1855 – Dec 1855|
|14||VADM||Aleksandr Ivanovich Panfilov||Jan 1856 – Aug 1856|
|15||RADM||Grigoriy Ivanovich Butakov||Aug 1856 – Jan 1860|
|16||VADM||Bogdan Aleksandrovich Glazenap||1860 – Jan 1871|
|17||ADM||Nikolay Andreyevich Arkas||1871 – 1881|
|18||ADM||Mikhail Pavlovich Manganari||1881 – 1882|
|19||VADM||Aleksey Alekseyevich Peshchurov||1882 – 1890|
|20||RADM||Roman Andreevich Grenkvist||1890|
|21||VADM||Nikolay Vasilyevich Kopytov||1891 – 1898|
|22||VADM||Yevgeni Ivanovich Alekseyev||1898|
|23||VADM||Sergey Petrovich Tyrtov||May 1898 – 1903|
|24||VADM||Yakov Appolonovich Giltebrandt||1903|
|25||VADM||Nikolay Illarionovich Skrydlov||1903 – 1904|
|26||VADM||Aleksandr Khristianovich Kriger||1904|
|27||VADM||Grigoriy Pavlovich Chukhnin||1904 – 1906|
|28||RADM||Ivan Konstantinovich Grigorovich||1906|
|29||VADM||Nikolay Illarionovich Skrydlov||1906 – 1907|
|30||RADM||Genrikh Faddeevich Tsyvinskiy||1907|
|31||RADM||Robert Nikolayevich Viren||1907 – 1908|
|32||VADM||Ivan Fyodorovich Bostrem||1908 – 1909|
|33||VADM||Vladimir Simonovich Sarnavskiy||1909 – 1911|
|34||VADM||Ivan Fyodorovich Bostrem||1911|
|35||RADM||Pavel Ivanovich Novitskiy||1911|
|36||VADM||Andrey Avgustovich Ehbergard||1911 – Jun 1916|
|37||VADM||Aleksandr Vasilyevich Kolchak||Jun 1916 – Jun 1917|
|38 (Acting)||RADM||Veniamin Konstantinovich Lukin||Jun 1917 – Jul 1917|
|39||RADM||Aleksandr Vasilyevich Nemitts||Jul 1917 – Dec 1917|
|41||Captain 1st Rank||Aleksandr Ivanovich Tikhmenev||1918|
|42||Captain 1st Rank||Aleksandr Ivanovich Sheykovskiy||1919|
|43||Captain 1st Rank||Aleksey Vladimirovich Dombrovskiy||May 1920 – Oct 1920|
|44||Ehduard Samuilovich Pantserzhanskiy||Nov 1920 – Nov 1921|
|45||Andrey Semenovich Maksimov||Nov 1921 – Jul 1922|
|46||Aleksandr Karlovich Vekman||Jul 1922 – May 1924|
|47||Mikhail Vladimirovich Viktorov||May 1924 – Dec 1924|
|48||Ehduard Samuilovich Pantserzhanskiy||Dec 1924 – Oct 1926|
|49||Vladimir Mitrofanovich Orlov||Oct 1926 – Jun 1931|
|50||Fleet Flag Officer 2nd Rank||Ivan Kuz'mich Kozhanov||Jun 1931 – Aug 1937|
|51||Fleet Flag Officer 2nd Rank||Petr Ivanovich Smirnov-Svetlovskiy||Aug 1937 – Dec 1937|
|52||Fleet Flag Officer 2nd Rank||Ivan Stepanovich Yumashev||1938 – Mar 1939|
|53||VADM||Filipp Sergeyevich Oktyabrskiy||Mar 1939 – Apr 1943|
|54||VADM||Lev Anatol'evich Vladimirskiy||Apr 1943 – Mar 1944|
|55||VADM||Filipp Sergeyevich Oktyabrskiy||Mar 1944 – Nov 1948|
|56||ADM||Nikolai Efremovich Basistiy||Nov 1948 – Aug 1951|
|57||ADM||Sergey Georgiyevich Gorshkov||Aug 1951 – Jul 1955|
|58||VADM||Viktor Aleksandrovich Parkhomenko||Jul 1955 – Dec 1955|
|59||ADM||Vladimir Afanasyevich Kasatonov||Dec 1955 – Feb 1962|
|60||ADM||Serafim Evgeniyevich Chursin||Feb 1962 – Dec 1968|
|61||ADM||Viktor Sergeyevich Sysoyev||Dec 1968 – Mar 1974|
|62||ADM||Nikolay Ivanovich Khovrin||Mar 1974 – April 1983|
|63||ADM||Aleksey Mikhailovich Kalinin||Apr 1983 – Jul 1985|
|64||ADM||Mikhail Nikolayevich Khronopulo||Jul 1985 – Oct 1991|
|65||ADM||Igor Vladimirovich Kasatonov||Oct 1991 – Dec 1992|
|66||ADM||Eduard Dmitriyevich Baltin||Dec 1992 – Feb 1996|
|67||ADM||Viktor Andreyevich Kravchenko||Feb 1996 – Jul 1998|
|68||ADM||Vladimir Petrovich Komoyedov||Jul 1998 – Oct 2002|
|69||ADM||Vladimir Vasilyevich Masorin||Oct 2002 – Feb 2005|
|70||ADM||Aleksandr Arkadyevich Tatarinov||Feb 2005 – Jul 2007|
|71||VADM||Aleksandr Dmitrievich Kletskov||Jul 2007 – Jul 2010|
|72||VADM||Vladimir Ivanovich Korolyov||Jul 2010 – Jun 2011|
|73||VADM||Aleksandr Nikolayevich Fedotenkov||Jun 2011 – May 2013|
|74||ADM||Aleksandr Viktorovich Vitko||May 2013 – June 2018|
|75||VADM||Aleksandr Alekseevich Moiseev||June 2018 – May 2019|
|76||ADM||Igor Vladimirovich Osipov||May 2019 – August 2022|
|77||VADM||Viktor Nikolayevich Sokolov||August 2022 – present|
The Black Sea Fleet, and other Russian ground and air forces in Crimea, are subordinate to the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces. The Black Sea Fleet is one component of Russian forces in the Southern Military District and is supported by other Russian military formations in the District, including the 4th Air and Air Defence Forces Army. The Russian Coast Guard and National Guard of Russia provide additional armed patrol capabilities, which have also been expanded since the Russian seizure of Crimea to support the enforcement of Russian territorial claims.
|801||Guided Missile Frigate||Ladnyy||Krivak||1980||Active as of 2022; returned to the fleet in 2021 post-refit|
|808||Guided Missile Frigate||Pytlivyy||Krivak||1981||Active as of early 2023|
|745||Guided Missile Frigate||Admiral Grigorovich||Admiral Grigorovich||2016||Active; transitted to the Baltic from the Mediterranean in April 2023; reported returning as of June|
|751||Guided Missile Frigate||Admiral Essen||Admiral Grigorovich||2016||Active combat operations as of February 2022|
|799||Guided Missile Frigate||Admiral Makarov||Admiral Grigorovich||2017||Reported as likely to assume the role of fleet flagship following the loss of the cruiser Moskva|
|535||Multi-role Corvette||Mercury (former Retiviy)||Steregushchiy||2023||Active; deployed in the Baltic as of May 2023|
|554||Diesel Attack Submarine||Alrosa (B-871)||Kilo 877V||1990||Sevastopol||Active as of 2022|
|555||Diesel Attack Submarine||Novorossiysk (B-261)||Improved Kilo 636.3||2014||Novorossiysk||Active; at the Kronstadt Shipyard in the Baltic for repairs|
|556||Diesel Attack Submarine||Rostov na donu (B-237)||Improved Kilo 636.3||2014||Novorossiysk||Active; returned to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean, February 2022|
|557||Diesel Attack Submarine||Staryy Oskol (B-262)||Improved Kilo 636.3||2015||Novorossiysk||Active as of 2021|
|558||Diesel Attack Submarine||Krasnodar (B-265)||Improved Kilo 636.3||2015||Novorossiysk||Active; forward deployed in the Mediterranean as of October 2022|
|559||Diesel Attack Submarine||Velikiy Novgorod (B-268)||Improved Kilo 636.3||2016||Novorossiysk||Active as of 2021|
|560||Diesel Attack Submarine||Kolpino (B-271)||Improved Kilo 636.3||2016||Novorossiysk||Active as of July 2022|
|152||Landing Ship||Nikolay Filchenkov||Alligator||1975||Reported active by Russian sources as of June 2022.|
|148||Landing Ship||Orsk||Alligator||1968||Reported active by Russian sources as of June 2022.|
|151||Landing Ship||Azov||Ropucha-II||1990||Reported active by Russian sources as of June 2022|
|142||Landing Ship||Novocherkassk||Ropucha-I||1987||Active combat operations as of February 2022; may have been damaged at Berdyansk but reported active by Russian sources as of June.|
|158||Landing Ship||Caesar Kunikov||Ropucha-I||1986||Active combat operations as of May 2022; may have been damaged at Berdyansk but reported active by Russian sources as of June.|
|156||Landing Ship||Yamal||Ropucha-I||1988||Reported active by Russian sources as of June 2022.|
Black Sea Fleet amphibious vessels being joined by five additional Ropucha-class: (Minsk (127), Korolev (130) and Kaliningrad (102) from the Baltic Fleet as well as Georgy Pobedonosets (016) and Olenegorsky Gornyak (012) from the Northern Fleet); also deployed to the Black Sea from the Northern Fleet is the Ivan Gren-class vessel Pyotr Morgunov (117); all vessels entered the Black Sea by February 9 and as of March 2022 all were reported on active operations as part of the invasion of Ukraine.
|677||High-Speed Landing Craft||D-296||Project 02510||2015||Active (Special Forces) One Project 02510 destroyed.|
|655||High-Speed Landing Craft||D-309||Project 02510||2018||Active (Special Forces) One Project 02510 destroyed.|
|059||ASW Corvette||Alexandrovets||Grisha I||1982|
|071||ASW Corvette||Suzdalets||Grisha III||1983||Active as of 2022|
|064||ASW Corvette||Muromets||Grisha III||1983|
|913||Seagoing Minesweeper||Kovrovets||Natya I||1974||Active as of 2021|
|911||Seagoing Minesweeper||Ivan Golubets||Natya I||1973||Active as of 2022. Reportedly damaged during a drone attack on the port of Sevastopol.|
|912||Seagoing Minesweeper||Turbinist||Natya I||1975|
|601||Seagoing Minesweeper||Ivan Antonov||Alexandrit||2018||Active as of 2022|
|659||Seagoing Minesweeper||Vladimir Emelyanov||Alexandrit||2019||Active; deployed in the Mediterranean as of October 2022|
|631||Seagoing Minesweeper||Georgy Kurbatov||Alexandrit||2021||Active as of 2022|
|836||Anti-Saboteur Boat||Yunarmeets Kryma||Grachonok||2014|
|844||Anti-Saboteur Boat||Pavel Silaev||Grachonok||2017||Deployed to the Mediterranean June to November 2021|
|845||Anti-Saboteur Boat||P-345 Buyevlyanin||Raptor||2015||Ukrainian officials released 3 separate footages showing 6 Raptor-class boats damaged/destroyed|
|838||Anti-Saboteur Boat||P-352||Raptor||2015||Ukrainian officials released 3 separate footages showing 6 Raptor-class boats damaged/destroyed|
|852||Anti-Saboteur Boat||P-425||Raptor||2017||Ukrainian officials released 3 separate footages showing 6 Raptor-class boats damaged/destroyed|
|609||Guided Missile Corvette||Vyshniy Volochyok||Buyan-M||2018||Active as of 2022|
|615||Guided Missile Corvette||Bora||Dergach||1989||In refit as of September 2021|
|616||Guided Missile Corvette||Samum||Dergach||2000||Active|
|626||Guided Missile Corvette||Orekhovo-Zuyevo||Buyan-M||2018||Reported in the Mediterranean as of October 2022|
|630||Guided Missile Corvette||Ingushetiya||Buyan-M||2019||Active as of 2022|
|600||Guided Missile Corvette||Grayvoron||Buyan-M||2021||Active as of 2022|
|TBC||Missile Corvette||Askold||Karakurt||Projected 2023||Sea trials in the Black Sea|
|962||Missile Boat||Shuya||Tarantul-II Mod||1985|
|955||Missile Boat||R-60||Tarantul-III||1987||Active as of 2022|
|953||Missile Boat||Naberezhnye Chelny||Tarantul-III||1991||Active combat operations as of February 2022|
|053||Small Antisubmarine Ship||Povorino||Grisha III||1989|
|054||Small Antisubmarine Ship||Eysk||Grisha-III||1987||Active combat operations as of February 2022|
|055||Small Antisubmarine Ship||Kasimov||Grisha-III||1984||Active as of 2022|
|368||Patrol ship||Vasily Bykov||Project 22160||2018||On active operations as of March 2022.|
|375||Patrol ship||Dmitriy Rogachev||Project 22160||2019||Returned to the Black Sea from Mediterranean February 2022|
|363||Patrol ship||Pavel Derzhavin||Project 22160||2020||Active combat operations as of February 2022|
|383||Patrol ship||Sergey Kotov||Project 22160||2022||Reported commissioned May 2022|
|901||Seagoing Minesweeper||Anatoliy Zheleznyakov||Gorya||1988||Active as of 2021|
|770||Seagoing Minesweeper||Valentin Pikul||Natya I Mod||2001||Active as of 2022|
|908||Seagoing Minesweeper||Vice-Admiral Zakharin||Pr.02668 (Natya)||2009||Returned to the Black Sea from Mediterranean February 2022|
|458||Base Minesweeper||Mineralnyye Vody (BT-241)||Sonya||1989||Unclear if active|
|442?||Base Minesweeper||BT-726||Sonya||1976||Unclear if active|
|575||Landing Craft||D-144||Serna||2008||Ukrainian officials released video of a Serna Class landing craft being destroyed by a Bayraktar TB2 drone at Snake Island in early May, 2022.|
|659||Landing Craft||D-199||Serna||2014||Ukrainian officials released video of a Serna Class landing craft being destroyed by a Bayraktar TB2 drone at Snake Island in early May, 2022.|
|842||Anti-Saboteur Boat||Kursant Kirovets||Grachonok||2013|
|?||Anti-Saboteur Boat||P-274||Raptor||2015||Ukrainian officials released 3 separate videos showing 6 Raptor-class boats damaged/destroyed|
|?||Anti-Saboteur Boat||P-275||Raptor||2015||Ukrainian officials released 3 separate videos showing 6 Raptor-class boats damaged/destroyed|
|?||Anti-Saboteur Boat||P-276||Raptor||2015||Ukrainian officials released 3 separate videos showing 6 Raptor-class boats damaged/destroyed|
|201||Intelligence Vessel||Priazovye||Vishnya class||1972||Active as of 2023|
|?||Intelligence Vessel||Ivan Khurs||Yury Ivanov class||2018||Attacked by Ukrainian USV in May 2023; status unclear|
|?||Fleet Oiler||Ivan Bubnov||Project 1559V Morskoy prostor||1975||Active as of 2021|
|?||Fleet Oiler||Istra||Dora||1942||Transferred to the Soviet Union from Germany as part of war reparations; still reported in service|
|?||Fleet Oiler||Iman||Project 6404||1966||Active as of 2021|
|?||Fleet Oiler||Vice Admiral Paromov||Project 03182||2021||Deployed in the Mediterranean as of May 2022|
|?||Logistics Support Vessel||Vsevolod Bobrov||Project 23120||2021||Arrived in the Black Sea January 2022|
|?||Floating Ship Repair Factory||PM-56||Project 304||1973||Active as of 2022|
|?||Floating Ship Repair Factory||PM-138||Project 304||1969||Active as of 2022|
|?||Hydrographic Survey Vessel||Donuzlav||Yug (Project 862)||1983||Active as of 2022|
|?||Hydrographic Survey Vessel||Stvor||Yug (Project 862)||1983|
|?||Hydrographic Survey Vessel||Cheleken||Moma (Project 861)||1970|
The 2nd Guards Naval Aviation Division is part of the Black Sea Fleet. The 27th Composite [or "Mixed," depending on translation] Aviation Division is part of the 4th Air and Air Defence Forces Army.
2nd Guards Naval Aviation Division (HQ Sevastopol)
Main article: Russian Naval Aviation
27th Composite Aviation Division (in Crimea but subordinate to 4th Air and Air Defence Forces Army – Rostov-on-Don)
31st Air Defense Division (HQ: Sevastopol) subordinate to the 4th Air and Air Defense Forces Army (HQ: Rostov-on-Don)
51st Air Defense Division (HQ: Rostov-on-Don; with S-400, S-300, Pantsir, Buk SAM systems subordinate to 4th Air Army)
7th Military Base (Primorskoe, Abkhazia – S-400 and S-300 SAMs)
The 43rd Guards Naval Assault Aviation Regiment traces its history to the 43rd Fighter Aviation Regiment (ru:43-й истребительный авиационный полк). The regiment began its formation in May 1938 and was finally formed on May 11 or 13, 1938 in the Kiev Special Military District at Vasylkiv airfield from the 71st, 5th and 109th separate fighter aviation squadrons. It joined the 51st Aviation Brigade of the Air Forces of the Kiev Special Military District.
The regiment's first commander from summer 1938 was Vladimir Sryvkin (ru:Срывкин, Владимир Алексеевич). Major Sryvkin handed over command in 1939 and became assistant commander of the 72nd Fighter Aviation Brigade. In May 1944, he died of wounds received in action.
On June 22, 1941, the regiment was still located at Vasylkiv, forming part of the 36th Fighter Aviation Division of the Air Defence Forces of the Kiev Special Military District.
Over the entire period of its existence, the regiment was repeatedly reorganized and changed its name depending on the honorary titles assigned, awards and changes in the type of aviation:
The 43rd Fighter Aviation Regiment on June 9, 1942 was reorganized into the 43rd Mixed Aviation Regiment. The 43rd Mixed Aviation Regiment was reorganized on June 21, 1942 into the 43rd Fighter Aviation Regiment.
The 43rd Fighter Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Regiment on April 1, 1960 was renamed the 43rd Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Regiment of Fighter-Bombers (APIB).
The 43rd Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Regiment of Fighter-Bombers, after being included in the Air Force of the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet on December 1, 1990, was renamed the 43rd Separate Naval Assault Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Regiment.
In connection with the reduction of the Russian Air Force, the 43rd Separate Marine Assault Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Regiment was reorganized on October 1, 1995 into the 43rd Separate Marine Assault Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Squadron.
In December 2004, the squadron was upgraded to a regiment once again. The 43rd separate naval assault aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Regiment in connection with the ongoing reform of the RF Armed Forces in 2009 was renamed the 7058th Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Naval Aviation Base of the Russian Federation.
The 43rd separate naval assault aviation Sevastopol Red Banner Order of Kutuzov Naval Aviation Regiment of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation was re-formed in 2014 at the Novofedorovka airfield near the city of Saki.
The regiment was part of the "active army" (in front-line combat service) for six periods between 22 July 1941 and 9 May 1945.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet's (BSF) use of leased facilities in Sevastopol and the Crimea was sometimes controversial. A number of incidents took place:
((cite web)): Check
The Russian frigate Admiral Essen and the submarine Krasnodar fired four Kalibr missiles towards Palmyra, the Russian Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday, state news agency RIA Novosti announced.