Battle Off The Coast of Abkhazia - Russian Navy Operations

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Russian Navy Operations

The Russian Navy dispatched two task forces from Sevastopol, one allegedly to impose a naval blockade on Georgia, while the other, bearing amphibious troops and assisted by guided missile cruiser Moskva and smaller missile-warfare capable ships allegedly advanced to the coast of Abkhazia, to the small port of Ochamchira. The possibly 400 troops on board were to strike deep from Ochamchira to points north (Kodori Gorge), southeast Senaki and south Poti.

According to Chinese reporting citing unnamed Russian sources the blockading units were assigned the task to not allow arms and military hardware supplies to reach Georgia by sea.

Unconfirmed Georgian information reported the Russian task forces allegedly moving toward Georgia comprised the following units with the exact allocation to each one task force yet undetermined:

  • Kashin class destroyer (Upgraded) Smetlivy
  • Alligator class landing ship Saratov.
  • Ropucha class landing ships Caesar Kunikov and Yamal.
  • Albatros-class Anti-Submarine Corvettes Kasimov, Povorino and Suzdalets.
  • Nanuchka class corvette Mirazh.
  • Bora class guided missile hovercraft Samum
  • Moma Class Surveillance ship Ekvator.
  • Natya Class Minesweepers Zhukov and Turbinist.
  • Small Landing Ship Koida
  • Sorum Class Fleet Tug MB-31.

The task force was co-ordinated and deployed from Sevastopol in Ukraine, home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

While the Georgian authorities are silent on any naval battle, they have claimed detailed information as to the damages inflicted on Georgia by the Black Sea Fleet, besides the blockade mission asserted by Georgia. The Russian task force, according to the Georgian Foreign Ministry statement, landed 4,000 troops and met up with their armor in Ochamchira. It then went on to support an attack against Georgian troops deployed at Kodori Gorge and struck deep into Georgia proper, reaching the port of Poti (another difficult feat to accomplish since Kodori Gorge is in the mountains east of Sukhumi while Poti is on the coast some distance south of Sukhumi).

The Georgian source goes on to allege that a missile attack was launched against an inland target in "Kodori" by the Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva. (Neither of the actions noted by the Georgian source could have been accomplished by the Russian naval force alleged to have operated off the Georgian coast. The listed ships could not have supported the landing of 4,000 troops and the cruiser Moskva possesses no armament designed to attack inland ground targets. Further, the Kodori Gorge lies generally east-west and is located 40-50 miles east of Sukhumi while the Port of Poti is on the coast some 70 miles south of Sukhumi.)

Read more about this topic:  Battle Off The Coast Of Abkhazia

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