Kiev will not be able to complete the construction of its only missile cruiser Ukraine, which has been rusting at the dock of the ship repair plant in Nikolaev for more than a quarter of a century. For this there is no suitable weapons, no money.
This was recognised in an interview with one of the local publications was made by the secretary of the Rada Committee on National Security and Defense, MP Ivan Vinnik.
According to him, the Armed Forces of Ukraine today can not afford to put the ship of this class into operation and fully use. Given that the presence of a cruiser “would significantly enhance the defense capability” of Ukraine in the Black Sea.
But even if the money to restore the ship could be found, there is nothing to arm it, according to Vinnik. The country has no air defense systems, surveillance, fire control, as well as means of destruction of its own production of missiles.
Moscow, he is sure, will not supply all this to Kiev, and European and American weapons will not work, since the cruiser was built under Soviet standards.
Probably all so. But the deputy only states the obvious, without offering any positive way out.
Moreover, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, in fact, “disown” from the ship in 1993, withdrawing the “Ukraine” from the Navy. And in 2015, funding for the technical group, the efforts of which it had somehow kept afloat all these years, ceased. After that, the maintenance of an unfinished object was carried out by workers of the Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant (where, in fact, the ship was laid in 1984), which is part of the Ukroboronprom concern (Ukraine defense Minstry). But in the fall of 2017, the company went bankrupt and stopped working.
In the same year, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, signed a decree on the demilitarization of the missile cruiser – dismantling of installed weapons. The further fate of the warship was to be decided by the government.
Perhaps Vinnik’s statement just means that the verdict to “Ukraine” was signed. And this is the death sentence – i.e. “Ukraine”, most likely, will go under the knife.
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“It is difficult to say what made Vinnik deputy again return to the fate of the cruiser,” commented the military expert, captain of the 1st rank of reserve Sergey Ischenko. “But I do not exclude that the complaints of the workers of the“ Plant for them. 61 Communards “- so it was called before the shipbuilding enterprise in the city of Nikolaev. People there for months did not pay wages, they go out periodically to protest rallies, rallies …
And the cruiser “Ukraine”, which the plant has been maintaining for many years at its own expense, is also to blame for their disastrous financial situation. It takes hundreds and hundreds of thousands of hryvnias.
That is, so this money would go on salaries to the personnel, and it is necessary to spend them for the maintenance of the ship.
They kept this ship in the hope that it could still sell. Hopes were in vain. No one bought it. And, of course, will not buy. It is absolutely accurate.
– But after all, Russia, China, India showed interest, why didn’t they sell.
– The last time Russia showed any interest in this was in the years when Serdyukov was the defense minister (2007-2012). He went there, looked at this ship and then made an offer, which Kiev considered mocking. He said: “We will buy it from you at the price of scrap metal for one billion rubles”.
Today, it is obvious that this was a profitable commercial offer for Ukraine. Because if we decided today to buy it for scrap, Ukraine would first have to prepare the ship for towing to the place of cutting. This also requires significant costs. We need to brew hatches, orifices … Many things would have to be brewed so that the cruiser did not sink along the way, like many of our ships, which we sold in the early and mid-nineties to India, Turkey and elsewhere …
In general, this ship, as it ravaged, continues to slowly ravage the Ukrainian budget. You can even say that he is, in this sense, a very effective “agent of the Kremlin.” And Ukraine does not know, really, what to do with it.
The fact that salvation from abroad in the form of an offer to buy this ship will not follow is obvious.
– Explain, because the cruiser is 95% ready …
– First, it is old. Secondly, indeed, it can be completed only with the help of Russia – the very 5% that are lacking.
But the fact is that if Russia even gives – hypothetically – Ukraine, these weapons, then the maintenance of these complexes in the future also requires the Russia’s participation. And a foreign buyer (suppose, China or India), if such a person were found, he, too, would have to negotiate, first of all, with Russia. Because these weapons and equipment are produced only in Russia. As for Kiev’s dream that “Ukraine” would suddenly rise by some miracle from the ashes and become part of the Navy, it is also unfounded.
– That is , the “independent” capacity in the Black Sea will not increase?
- No, of course. In order to have such a cruiser, you need to have a crew of several hundred people. You need approximately 50 trained officers. Not less midshipmen. It is necessary to have a bunch of contract soldiers who can work on weapons and ship equipment, which is produced, I repeat, only in Russia. And nowhere else. For Ukraine, no one will prepare such specialists, of course. And they just can not serve it. And here even the Old Genie Hottabych from Russian fairy tale, with his magic beard will not help. Therefore, in essence, this is a dead end. It is impossible to use a cruiser, it is wasteful to sink it at the pier. Well, what to do with him is also unknown. It is precisely because the latter prevails that he has been at the berth for nearly 26 years and is ruining the Ukrainian budget. Apparently, it will be ruined in the near future, despite Winnick’s moans.
– Unless it sinks …
– Theoretically, it can sink. If they stop servicing him completely, let’s say, then we can assume that he may have some kind of leaks. The cruiser, like any ship, needs constant inspection. And even when ships are put on conservation, divisional conservation still exists, where there is a battalion commander and a small staff that inspects the ship every day, from top to bottom, looking for leaks. With Ukraine, I’m sure they do same. Otherwise, she would have gone to the bottom.
The ship, almost completely completed, did not get into operation?
– When the Soviet Union collapsed, no one finished building. Russia, too, practically did not finish anything from what it had left in its shipyards. Moreover, she would not finish building what was left in the Ukrainian shipyards. We did not have enough money for our ships. We had great difficulty completing, for example, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Chabanenko. With the efforts of Kokoshin, mainly, who was then secretary of the Security Council, the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great was built. And it took years. Why would we finish building the cruiser that Kiev declared its own?
- Didn’t Russia have a desire to buy a cruiser before it actually turned into a pile of rusty iron?
- We had offers in different years, even before Serdyukov, – but Ukraine made a huge price every time. The last offer was already to Serdyukov, to buy at the price of scrap metal. In principle, this cruiser could be useful to us. It would be possible to remove some systems from it for repairing those three missile cruisers that remain in the Russian Navy – the Varyag, the Marshal Ustinov and the Moscow. He, as they say, is a sistership — that is, the ship of the same type – “Moscow”, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, in Sevastopol is absolutely immobilized. And already, in my opinion, it hasn’t gone to sea at all for two years. He was constantly driven to combat service in the Mediterranean, when we did not have anyone to whom to replace this very cruiser in the Mediterranean, and were driven. Well, just like a horse is being pounded. He is now completely immobilized, and it’s not clear what to do with him. Where to repair it is not clear. And if the cruiser “Ukraine” appeared at our disposal, then I do not rule out that some units from it (first of all those relating to systems providing movements) might have been useful for “Moscow”, since their moto-service is zero. Maybe, “Moscow” then entered into operation more quickly. But, again, for political reasons, such a deal today is simply impossible. These are fantastic assumptions.
– But letting “Ukraine” under the knife is also quite unpatriotic.
– In fact, the cruiser has not had that name for a long time. They themselves understood that in the propaganda sense they are very strongly substituted when they call the ship such a sad fate “Ukraine”. They came to their senses several years ago, and now the cruiser is officially called “1164” – according to the index of the Soviet project Atlant, the brainchild of which it is. From the file of the SP, Ukraine is the only missile cruiser (the fourth ship of the Soviet project 1164 Atlant) , which went to the Ukrainian side after the division of the Black Sea Fleet. The original name is “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Lobov”. Construction began in 1984 in Nikolaev. Launched in 1990 in the state of 75 percent readiness, and in 1993 it became the property of Ukraine. Then it was given the name «Ukraine». However, in 2010 VerKhovna Rada decided that since the Defense Ministry does not intend to put an unfinished cruiser into service, it is not advisable to call it “Ukraine”.