Amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, Russia has withdrawn most of its Black Sea Fleet from its main base in Sevastopol to other bases in Crimea and deeper into Russian territory, The Wall Street Journal reports.
This move is seen as a significant setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A Symbolic defeat for Putin
According to the Wall Street Journal, the withdrawal is a symbolic yet significant defeat for Putin, resulting from a series of Ukrainian attacks that destroyed two Russian ships and the Black Sea Fleet's main headquarters.
British Deputy Defense Minister James Heappey, speaking at the Warsaw Security Forum, termed the dispersal of the ships as a "functional failure" of the Russian fleet.
Mikhail Barabanov, a Russian maritime analyst, pointed out that the West had previously prohibited Ukraine from using Western weapons for strikes within the Russian Federation's borders since 2014.
However, Ukraine recently conducted an attack on Novorossiysk using its own drones.
Yoruk Isik, an expert from consulting firm Bosphorus Observer, stated that satellite images show that the Russians have set up nets and barges at the entrance to the port in Feodosia, indicating Moscow's concerns about further attacks on its ships.