First pictures show damage to Russian submarine in Storm Shadow strike

First pictures show devastating close-up damage to Putin’s submarine Rostov-on-Don in Storm Shadow strike

  • Rostov-on-Don – a £250 million Kilo-class attack vessel – was damaged last week
  • It is likely out of action for the rest of the war with repairs considered too costly 

The first pictures have emerged showing the devastation of a Russian strike submarine caused by a Storm Shadow missile in graphic detail. 

The underwater £250 million Kilo-class attack vessel Rostov-on-Don was hit on 13 September in a repair shipyard in the Russian-held Black Sea port of Sevastopol, in annexed Crimea.

The images, obtained by Conflict Intelligence Team’s investigative journalists, show the scale of the damage dealt to the submarine as it sat in the dry dock. 

It appears to have been hit twice by missiles supplied to Ukraine by Britain and France, both of which left gaping holes in the hull and wrecked the internal mechanics. 

The CIT report suggests that the submarine’s living compartments and other areas were also damaged, meaning the Rostov-on-Don will likely take no further part in the war.

Conflict Intelligence Team shares pictures of major damage to Rostov-on-Don submarine after 13 September 2023 Storm Shadow attack on Sevastopol

The images, obtained by Conflict Intelligence Team’s investigative journalists, show the scale of the damage dealt to the submarine as it sat in the dry dock.

Carnage on Putin’s large landing warship Minsk, following Ukrainian missile attack on Sevastopol shipyard

A mast aboard the Minsk is seen damaged following the strike

Rostov-on-Don submarine (pictured) was put out of action in an early morning missile attack on Crimea on September 13, 2023

One large hole ‘is located on top of the bow of the submarine’ as indicated by previous satellite images of the stricken vessel which has been used by Putin to strike Ukraine during the war.

This is what a ‘liberated’ Ukrainian village looks like 

‘The second hit was on the starboard side of the boat in the area behind the command point.

‘It, unlike the first one, cannot be recorded from satellite images,’ the report said. 

The shipyard strike also caused severe damage to the large landing ship Minsk.

Some Ukrainian sources have claimed Russia has concealed the deaths of 24 people in the strike. 

On the same day, a ‘Sea Baby’ kamikaze drone damaged Russian missile hovercraft Samum near Sevastopol harbour, while a marine drone also damaged the Vasily Bykov patrol ship.

The strikes on the Black Sea port come as the European Union gears up for a fight over what should be included in its 12th package of sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

The new measures, which could be presented as early as next month, would likely include the EU’s version of the upcoming G7 ban on purchases of Russian diamonds and possibly a long-awaited proposal to use the profits generated by frozen central bank assets to aid Kyiv, the report added citing people familiar with discussions.

Meanwhile in Russia, China’s top diplomat is heading to Moscow to discuss military and security cooperation between the two nations. 

Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who simultaneously holds the ruling Communist Party’s top foreign policy post, will be in Russia from Monday to Thursday for China-Russia strategic security consultations, the Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement.

The U.S. and China are at odds over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

China has refrained from taking sides in the war, saying that while a country’s territory must be respected, the West needs to consider Russia’s security concerns about NATO expansion. 

It has accused the U.S. of prolonging the fighting by providing arms to Ukraine, weaponry that the U.S. says is needed to defend against Russian aggression.

Chinese Communist Party’s foreign policy chief Wang Yi will be in Moscow for security meetings this week

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the draft of 2024 federal budget and the planning period of 2025 and 2026, via video link at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia September 18, 2023

Wang’s trip to Moscow comes a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left Russia following a six-day visit that included talks with President Vladimir Putin at a far eastern spaceport, visits to aircraft plants and inspections of nuclear-capable strategic bombers and an advanced warship. 

China and Russia have grown closer as relations with the West have deteriorated for both, and China is looking for support as it seeks to reshape the U.S.-led international order into one that is more accommodating to its approach. 

Last month, it helped engineer an expansion of the BRICS partnership, which invited six more countries to join what has been a five-nation bloc that includes China and Russia.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning called Wang’s visit to Russia a routine one to hold in-depth talks on major strategic security interests.

Wang stepped down as foreign minister at the end of last year, taking on the more senior position of Communist Party foreign affairs chief, but was called back as foreign minister in July after his successor, Qin Gang, disappeared from public view. 

It’s unclear what happened to Qin, but he may have fallen out of favour with the leadership.

More recently, China’s defence minister, Li Shangfu, also has not been seen in about three weeks, sparking speculation about his fate. 

It’s unusual for two sitting Cabinet members to disappear from sight, although it doesn’t appear to signal any obvious change in defence or foreign policy.

The Chinese government has said nothing about Li’s disappearance. Asked about it on Monday, Mao, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said she was not aware of the situation.

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