Ukraine will create its own naval base in the Sea of Azov. To place not only their own ships, but also those that swim under the flag of NATO. About this last Thursday, said the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak.
– We need to strengthen our presence in the Azov Sea. We must respond to the threats that exist in the Sea of Azov, and in no case will we agree with Russia’s new attempt to seize new territories, the entire Sea of Azov, ”Poltorak exclaimed from the rostrum of the workshop held in Odessa (the style of the general’s speech was preserved).
In this Black Sea city, he came to greet the reconnaissance ship HMS Echo (H87) who had gone there the day before. Poltorak agreed on his arrival, being not so long ago in London. True, it was then about the middle of 2019. But after the “Kerch incident”, provoked by the current Kiev authorities, the dates were changed.
Well, and how was the defense minister not to brag to his dear guests with his grandiose plans for the “Azov Sea Citadel”? This task, according to him, is “a priority for the military Ukrainian department.” He voiced the deadlines: the base should appear as early as next year – no way later!
It is curious that on the same day and in the same Odessa, another figure, of rank, though not so high, one Lupakov, representing the “Union of Officers of Ukraine”, also spoke about the “new modern base of the Navy.”
- The ship (from the UK) came in with a friendly visit, – he said to the public.
– We must invite it not only to Odessa, but also to Mariupol. The Ukrainian and English ships will normally go to Mariupol, they will work out joint navigation. I have always said and I will say once again that we have a Lithuanian-Ukrainian-Polish land battalion, and we must immediately establish a Ukrainian-Turkish-Bulgarian-Romanian-British-American base. On the Black Sea and on the Azov. It is possible in Mariupol.
Sounded similar proposals before. Thus, at the end of September of the outgoing year, retired General Vasily Bogdan expressed confidence that Kiev is capable of creating such a naval infrastructure in the Azov region, which will become a serious problem for Russia and force it to “make concessions.” By “concessions” the ex-spy (headed by the intelligence department) meant “voluntary return of the Crimea.” At the same time, intentionally or having made a reservation, he referred to “agreements with the American side on its assistance in questions of strengthening the defense capacity of Ukraine.
Didn’t the situation with the navigation in the Sea of Azov begin to worsen from their support? In March, Ukraine, under a false pretext, detained the Russian trawler Nord, whose captain is still under arrest in Mariupol, and the trawler itself was put up for auction in September. In August, the same fate befell our tanker “Mechanic Pogodin” in the Kherson port. Then, in November, a provocation near the Kerch Strait, in which Kiev, and with it the “Western partners,” immediately blamed Russia. After that, the theme of the “Azov base” is no longer uttered by the authorized representatives, but is declared by officials as “case No. 1” among the urgent defense tasks of the independent state.
– Some kind of nonsense with a naval command in the shallow-water of Azov, – Admiral Igor Kasatonov, a candidate of military sciences, advisor to the chief of staff of the Russian Navy, responded to the request of to comment on the initiative of Ukrainian colleagues. In the early 1990s, Igor Vladimirovich was the commander of the Black Sea Fleet. Largely thanks to him, he managed to keep the Black Sea Fleet for Russia.
– Maybe I didn’t understand something, – continues Admiral Kasatonov, – and they are going to create not a sea base, but a land base? Then another thing. True, it is not clear why she is in those places. And to create the seaport, if there is no water? ..
– Maybe it is a small base for ships of low draft?
– For them it is possible, of course, but also doubtful. They do not solve defensive tasks – if our neighbors have such a goal. Yes, and the economy in Ukraine collapsed, the industry, in essence, the whole collapsed. What came from making such serious statements? Are you afraid to take a fright or something?
Admiral Valentin Selivanov develops the theme. He also served in his time on the Black Sea Fleet. In the late 1980s, it was with his light hand that our patrol showed the American “kuz’kinu mother” ships, rammed one of them for entering our territorial waters without demand. Later he headed the Leningrad Naval Base. In 1992/96, he was Chief of the Main Staff of the Russian Navy.
- Valentin Egorovich, please clarify the situation with the Sea of Azov – is there really an unsuitable depth for warships?
– Depths in Azov are complex, yes. In different places from 15 to 30 meters. A lot of shoals. For warships a serious problem. Submarines in this sea definitely can not be. Merchant ships go strictly along the fairway, which periodically has to be deepened. A little to the side and can firmly sit on the ground. As for the “mosquito flotilla” … Small vessels. I do not consider them ships. Ukrainians have now driven a couple of armored boats to Mariupol. So they do not make the weather at sea. So let them create a “new modern Navy base.”
- Minister Poltorak demanded that his subordinates provide him with the necessary calculations as soon as possible …
– What gave himself a “head.” Because not calculations are needed here, but, first of all, the principle of organizing a new base. Specifically: where and which vessels can pass and stand; berths and their provision; dislocation of coastal warehouses. And he thinks it seems that the naval base is a fortress. No, this is a port with its own profile.
Airborne 95th airborne assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will go into a breakthrough near Mariupol.
– What do you think about the ships of the Ukrainian navy?
– I will say that they are, in essence, not.
– A frigate “Getman Sagaidachny”?
– It has more years than the most independent Ukraine. Built during Soviet times. It has long required modernization. It seemed to have started there, but it would never end. More Americans should drive. Two of the same old, long-written their patrol boats. Well, and “mosquito” fleet.
- All the same Poltorak said the other day that “in 2019 it is planned to increase the combat capabilities of the Navy through the completion of construction and supply of two small armored artillery boats and one assault assault boat of the class” Centaur, as well as construction and introduction of the composition of the Navy reconnaissance ship. “
– It reminds me of the phrase of our great Pushkin from the poem “Awakening”: “Dreams, dreams, where is your sweetness …”. No funds, modern shipyards, too. Like professionals. What and how are they going to build? But I will not say that I am surprised by the statements of Stepan Timofeyevich. He is a man who stands far from the sea affairs, he went to the generals from the guards of Poroshenko … In short, all this is empty. Storm in a glass of water.