March 15, 2022 · Analysis Ukraine Russia USV

UKR and Guerilla Naval Warfare

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Ukrainian naval forces could deter or disrupt Russian Black Sea naval operations through the use of waterborne improvised explosive devices (WBIEDs).

RU warships operating in the Black Sea have launched cruise missiles against targets inside UKR, and there are indications that an amphibious assault on Odessa could be imminent.

UKR has few options to deter or defend against Russian naval operations in the Black Sea.

UKR may possess a modest mine warfare capability, and circumstantial evidence suggests that UKR has deployed sea mines in the approaches to Odessa and possibly delayed a RU amphibious assault.

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UPDATE: 15 March, 2228 UTC - Satellite imagery indicates that RU minesweeping operations are underway.

Given its limited conventional sea denial capability, UKR could resort to unconventional naval tactics, such as commandeering civilian watercraft and converting them into WBIEDs to attack RU warships.

With UKR supply lines increasingly coming under attack, and with a RU amphibious assault now imminent, UKR likely cannot acquire and the necessary technologies needed to convert civilian powerboats into remotely controlled USVs.

There are several factors and countermeasures that could limit the use or effectiveness of WBIEDs:

Edited for clarity - 15 March, 2035 UTC.
Ongoing edits as events dictate.

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