How and Why Kiev regime Propaganda ‘Sank’ Russian Navy’s ‘Ivan Khurs’ Ship
Monday, May 29, 2023
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
Since the start of Russia’s SMO (special military operation) in Ukraine well over a year ago, the Eurasian giant’s Black Sea Fleet has been one of the primary targets for the Kiev regime forces, including its home port of Sevastopol in the southern Russian peninsula of Crimea. As the area has been heavily fortified ever since its reunification with Russia in 2014, any manned attacks on it are a virtually guaranteed suicide mission. Precisely for this reason, the Neo-Nazi junta troops are almost exclusively using unmanned systems to conduct attacks. Simply put, Moscow’s A2/AD (anti-access/area denial) zone in Crimea, better known as “echeloned defense” in Russian military nomenclature (a crucial segment of the so-called “active defense” doctrine), serves as a stark reminder and deterrent.
Because of this, various types of drones have been the preferred weapon of choice for the Kiev regime forces when conducting attacks against Crimea and Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Unmanned systems offer several key advantages in this regard, as losing them represents a much lesser problem than losing fighter jets and/or ships. However, the Neo-Nazi junta has recently escalated its apparent bravado by moving the frontlines further south, to Turkey’s (and by extension NATO’s) zone of responsibility in the increasingly contested Black Sea. On May 24, the escalation once again reached a new dangerous level after the Kiev regime forces used at least three USVs (unmanned surface vehicles/vessels) to attack a Russian Black Sea Fleet ship of the Yuriy Ivanov-class (Project 18280) under the name of “Ivan Khurs”.
Yuriy Ivanov-class ships are Russian SIGINT (signals intelligence) vessels and the second ship of the class “Ivan Khurs” was performing security tasks for the TurkStream and Blue Stream natural gas pipelines. The clash happened approximately 140 km northeast of the Bosporus Strait, which is well within the limits of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claimed by Turkey. The relative proximity of the area where the incident took place to the coast of Asia Minor is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, as the potential for its escalation is increasing by the day. To make matters worse, the attack was conducted with Western-made USVs, most likely provided by the United Kingdom, and launched from the Naval Operations Center (NOC) in Ochakov (construction financed by NATO, mainly the United States).
The Kiev regime’s reverie about the incident was unequivocally supported by the mainstream propaganda machine, so many news sources published completely unsubstantiated reports about supposed “severe damage” and even “sinking” of the Russian ship. In a span of just several hours, various Ukrainian and even some Russian sources reported that the ship was destroyed, which was then retracted, however, with claims it suffered serious damage and supposedly had to be towed. Even this was later changed to alleged “repairs at sea” while some claimed that it was even replaced by another ship of the same class. However, considering the fact that the lead ship of the class “Yuriy Ivanov” is part of the Northern Fleet, such a scenario is all but impossible, unless the Russian Navy all of sudden dramatically improved its teleporting capabilities.
According to RIA Novosti, citing sources from the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD), the USVs launched from the Ochakov NOC were piloted via built-in SpaceX’s Starlink modules, while target designation was provided by US ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) assets. The source denied claims by the Kiev regime that the USVs were the domestically assembled Mykola-class sea drones. It’s still unclear why the Neo-Nazi junta claims otherwise, but it’s safe to assume that they’re trying to both promote those USVs, as well as hide the direct involvement of NATO’s premier members. The alleged “evidence” to support the claim that “Ivan Khurs” was “severely damaged” boils down to a grainy video supposedly showing the ship’s port side hit by a USV.
However, the only verifiable footage was provided by the Russian MoD and shows at least one of the attacking USVs destroyed by the ship’s deck-mounted MTPU turrets armed with 14.5 mm KPVT heavy machine guns. Being an intelligence vessel, “Ivan Khurs” is relatively lightly armed, with four MTPU turrets supported by 32 9M39 missiles and at least six 9K38 “Igla” short-range SAM (surface-to-air missile) systems. On May 26 the ship sailed into its home port of Sevastopol completely unscathed, where it was resupplied and prepared to return to its regular duties. The Russian Black Sea Fleet made an exception and published fresh footage of the vessel in order to finally dispel the rumors about its alleged “severe damage” and “possible destruction”.
The reasoning behind the attack was likely manifold and since the ship is providing security to the TurkStream and Blue Stream, it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility that the Kiev regime was trying to jeopardize the two key Black Sea natural gas pipelines. As “Ivan Khurs” is the most modern intelligence asset of the Black Sea Fleet, eliminating it would make it possible for NATO (or should we say “the deep diving pro-Ukrainian group”) to conduct yet another terrorist attack and prevent the flow of “autocratic” Russian natural gas to Turkey and Southeast Europe, opening the way for the “much more democratic” US LNG to replace it. This notion is further reinforced by the political West’s unrelenting support for the Kiev regime’s actions, no matter how potentially dangerous these could be for European and global security.
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