As Russia continues its advance on Ukraine’s southern Black Sea-facing flank, it appears that the Ukrainian Navy is taking no chances in providing Moscow with a major battlefield trophy — the flagship of its fleet, the Hetman Sahaidachny (U130).
An image of the ship sitting half-submerged on its side appeared on social media on March 3rd, 2022. It seems that the vessel was sunk on purpose in order to keep it from falling into the enemy’s hands. It’s also possible this occurred due to Russian action, but that seems less likely at this time. While the 3,100-ton displacement Krivak III/Menzhinskiy class frigate offers little in terms of significant combat capabilities to the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, its seizure would be a major propaganda win for Moscow that could act as a symbolic morale boost for Russian forces.
Equipped with a 100mm deck gun, smaller guns, anti-submarine grenade launchers, torpedo tubes, and a helicopter, the frigate may not seem like much, but it was a source of pride for the fairly meager but proud Ukrainian Navy.
The 30-year-old frigate was supposedly receiving repairs in the port city of Mykolaiv when it was sunk. Southwestern Ukraine is under new pressure from the Russian military with nearby Kherson falling just yesterday and fears that an amphibious assault on Odessa will be next.
We will continue to update this story as more information about the fate of the Hetman Sahaidachny comes to light.
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