Friday night, the Russian armed forces suffered another of its trademarked humiliations at the hands of Ukraine when the homeport of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (Ukraine Carries out Extensive Drone Attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Sevastopol Homeport) was attacked by a combined swarm of undersea and aerial drones. At least three Russian surface combatants, two guided missile frigates, and a minesweeper received some degree of damage. However, the damage was much less consequential than the pie-in-the-face to a fleet that has seen its headquarters attacked by Ukrainian drones and its flagship, the Moskva, sunk by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles, see BREAKING. The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was Hit by Ukrainian Missiles, Dead in the Water, Crew Evacuated and BREAKING. Russian Flagship Sinks While Being Towed to Port.
Adding insult to injury, Ukrainian hackers broke into Crimea television channels and ran the video of the attack.
Hackers breached TV channels in Crimea and showed footage of the destruction of Russian ships
On Oct. 29, explosions occurred in Sevastopol Bay. Russia accused 🇺🇦 & 🇬🇧 experts of planning a "drone attack" on its Black Sea fleethttps://t.co/KfSZEwTM68
📽️by Andriy Tsaplienko pic.twitter.com/wLC98yExh0
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) October 29, 2022
In what can only be described as a toddler kicking the floor in impotent rage, Russia announced that it was suspending the deal it had cut with the EU and Turkey, allowing Ukrainian grain to be shipped via a safe corridor. The Russians claimed that the attack on Sevastopol was launched from grain ships transiting the corridor that stretches from Odesa to the Bosporus and Dardanelles.
The Russian Ministry of Defense presented the first results of the investigation into the attack of drones on ships of the Black Sea Fleet. The agency repeated the allegation that Kyiv used the UAV under the guidance of representatives of the UK. The wreckage of the drones was found and raised to the surface.
Experts examined the Canadian-made navigation modules installed on the devices, the military department reports in its Telegram channel. “Based on the results of restoring the information read from the memory of the navigation receiver, it was established that the launch of marine unmanned vehicles was carried out from the coast near the city of Odessa,” the Ministry of Defense says.
It is noted that one of the devices was launched from the sea area of the security zone of the “grain corridor” in the Black Sea. Then the drones moved in the security zone, after which they changed the route in the direction of the base of the Black Sea Fleet ships.
Right. The fact that there were no ships in the grain corridor when the attack was executed was immaterial to Russia pushing out a lie that its lackeys can cling to. They also blamed their favorite b?te noire, the British military. The Russian sense of superiority (to the Ukrainians) and inferiority (to anything British) is so deeply ingrained that any Russian military humiliation inevitably results in perfidious Albion being blamed rather than considering they may just be f***ed up.
“Our special services … have evidence that the leadership and coordination of the attack on Sevastopol Bay was carried out by British military consultants.
“There is also evidence that Britain is involved in sabotage … a terrorist act on critical energy infrastructure, the Nord Stream pipelines,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told at a press briefing in Moscow
Then an amazing thing happened. The EU and Turks decided to go ahead with the grain shipments.
BLACK SEA SHOWDOWN: A grain convoy has left Odesa in defiance of a RU blockade. Proceeding south, the convoy posses a dilemma for Putin: does he attack merchant ships in international waters, or does he back down and permit UKR to resume grain shipments?https://t.co/6fEU2FdsJ2… pic.twitter.com/SeRYpd0TLJ
— Ukrainian News24 (@UkrainianNews24) October 31, 2022
Grain shipments depart from Ukraine despite Russian blockade threat https://t.co/2cS5oBIuh5 pic.twitter.com/pTzWIkmFVd
— New York Post (@nypost) October 31, 2022
Later Monday, after the gain convoy was well underway, Putin, in one of the most humiliating public statements by any leader not named Joe Biden, said that he would allow grain shipments if Ukraine agreed to leave the Black Sea Fleet alone.
Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded a guarantee from Ukraine on the safety of Russian vessels in the Black Sea grain corridor. The Kremlin suspended the landmark export route after claiming, without evidence, that a drone strike against its naval fleet may have come from a grain ship that’s part of the United Nations initiative….
“Ukraine must guarantee, that there are no threats for civilian ships and Russian vessels,” Putin said at a press briefing in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. He said that drones had traveled partly through the corridor in assaults on the Russian fleet.
“They created a threat both to our ships, which are supposed to ensure the safety of grain export, and to civilian ships that are engaged in this,” he said, calling the grain deal disruption a suspension.
Russia is ready to return to "grain deal" and allow bringing grain out of Ukraine if Kyiv guarantees the safety of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, – Russian media pic.twitter.com/Z9ucumDXLB
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) November 1, 2022
Cloaking what amounts to tapping out in a combatives match with concerns about convoy safety is perhaps the most Putin-like thing Putin has ever done. The Russian combatants at Sevastopol don’t provide security for the convoys as they can barely protect themselves. Protection comes from the Turkish Navy. That Turkish Navy escort was why the Russians were afraid to interfere with the October 31 grain convoy.
After finding out that no one was buying what he was selling, Putin threw in the towel.
Russia has returned to the United Nations-brokered deal to safely ship Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. Russia’s move to suspend participation over the weekend had caused a spike in global wheat prices and raised fresh concerns over international food shortages.
“Based on our conversation with Mr. Putin yesterday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called our National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar today to say that as of 12 p.m. today the exports of grain will continue as they had,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a meeting of ruling party lawmakers in Ankara, referring to a call he had Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a statement, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it agreed to renew its participation in the grain deal after the U.N. and Turkey secured written assurances from Ukraine that shipping corridors would not be used for military purposes.
All that Putin gained was an agreement by Ukraine with the EU and Turkey that they wouldn’t use grain ships, escorted by Turkish warships, to attack Russian targets. He is also reserving the right to quit the grain deal at any time but promises he will not stop grain shipments.
#Russia says it can quit the export deal again, but it will make sure grain from #Ukraine to #Turkey is uninterrupted. If Russia withdraws again, it'll cover for free from its own stocks volumes destined for "poorest countries" (which they said last week is only 3% of shipments). pic.twitter.com/e9jFJfkMT2
— Karen Braun (@kannbwx) November 2, 2022
Two things are becoming more and more evident from this war. The first is that Putin knows he is weak, militarily, economically, and politically. So his only game is to bluff and he’s terrible at it. The second thing is that Turkey is asserting itself as a regional power.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had secured Russian President Vladimir Putin’s commitment to resurrecting the deal safeguarding Ukrainian grain shipments, known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative. https://t.co/KaVFJMdfGN
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 2, 2022
It was Erdogan who dared Russia to attack the grain convoys and it was Erdogan who convinced Putin to engage in a spectacular climbdown.