On 29 May 2024, Ukrainian missile strikes damaged two Russian roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) rail ferries on the Crimean side of the Kerch Strait crossing, rendering them non-operational, according to an update.

These rail ferries almost certainly provided the primary means of rail transportation for Russian fuel and ammunition train loads to Crimea due to the stringent security measures employed on the Kerch Bridge.

Despite the strike, Russia has resumed operations of vehicle RO-RO ferries to support the movement of heavy loads across the Strait.

However, the loss of the rail ferry service means Russia will likely be forced to replace it as soon as possible, which could impact its wider maritime logistics operations. Alternatively, Russia might risk relaxing its procedures by using the rail bridge to transit fuel and explosive stores.


“These rail ferries almost certainly provided the primary means of rail transportation for Russian fuel and ammunition train loads to Crimea due to the stringent security measures employed on the Kerch Bridge. Russia also operates vehicle RO-RO ferries to support the movement of heavy loads across the Strait, which have resumed operations post-strike.

The degraded rail crossing capacity almost certainly caused significant temporary disruption to Russian military logistics operations and potentially, Crimea’s fuel supply. Russia will almost certainly be forced to replace the rail ferry service as soon as possible, likely impacting its wider maritime logistics operations, or risk relaxing its procedures by using the rail bridge to transit fuel and explosive stores,” the UK Ministry of Defence stated in the release.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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DB
DB (@guest_824815)
6 days ago

Good! Happy to read this and hope that in future they will sink the ferries at their transit moorings.

Dave
Dave (@guest_824846)
6 days ago
Reply to  DB

Agreed, even better if the ferry just happens to be fully loaded, should make quite a mess

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_824817)
6 days ago

At the rate they are taking out AD I expect we will see something very soon😀

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_824839)
6 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Indeed, there must be some pretty big gaps in their bubble at this point.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_824827)
6 days ago

Slava Ukraine.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_824840)
6 days ago

Good. Even if they can get the same amount across via other types of ferry/barge, they’ll need to unload them from trains on the Russian side and then re-load them onto trains again on the Ukrainian Crimean side- adding additional steps to every tonne of equipment carried by this route.
Admittedly, most of it probably travels via the Rostov/Mariupol line now. But still, reducing the options everywhere makes it more of a nightmare for Russian logisticians.

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_824859)
6 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

I would say a large chunk of the Rostov to Mariupol train line is within GMLRS range. I’d fully expect Ukraine to use this to target the rail line. The ATACMS could reach Rostov. Which I bet Ukraine are itching to target, due to both the rail and road transportation (bridges in particular) links.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_824983)
5 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The Ukrainians will eventually be authorized to utilize ATACMs in/around Rostov. Not in a timely fashion, mind you. Perhaps in another year or two. You know, another expedited decision process from Uncle Sugar. 🤔😉🙄

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_824924)
5 days ago

Might be worth thinking about the GRU grey zone activity in Europe/UK – various fires and explosions.

I suspect BAE don’t want publicity on the site explosions but similar happened at a Dutch facility.

Donald Tusk has publicly joined the dots so we are not breaking cover.

Ultimately the best security is for everyone to be alert. There is a long history in the UK of perimeter security being boosted by the locals. So I don’t think keeping quiet about this is the answer.

George can you do an article on that?

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_824977)
5 days ago

Very interesting info, do not believe any account has been published on this side of the Pond re potential sabotage, to date. Isn’t MI-5 (whatever the current title) supposed to deal w/ these matters? 🤔

Nick C
Nick C (@guest_824981)
5 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Yes they are, and you can make a large bet that there is a lot going on that we do not hear about. The biggest problem that MI 5 and MI 6 have is that there are multiple threats, and the most difficult part of the staff job will be working out the priority list.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_824989)
5 days ago
Reply to  Nick C

Maybe.

A lot of domestic work was given to plod under Blair.

Plod won’t have any idea what to do other than firm another large team of ‘highly specialised’ officers buy a stack of expensive shades, all get new high performance cars with blue lights fitted and blue light run between important meetings.

Meanwhile in the real world unarmed site guards will have to try and deal with this as the armed forces are too small to do this themselves. Maybe with some backing from the civil nuclear force.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_825014)
5 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Actually, just Google searched sabotage in Europe and there were indeed relevant articles in US pubs in mid to late May. My bad, total whiff. Definitely another reason to arm the Ukrainians to the teeth. 🤔😁

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_825490)
3 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

More to the point if citizens realised they were already under attack they would be happier with increased defence spending.

At some point the penny has to drop.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_825785)
1 day ago

Yes, Mad Vlad and the Orcs have dropped virtually all pretense of civilized behavior. A majority of the UK populace evidently believes Putin only blusters w/ empty threats, and does/will not follow through on them. Personally believe that assumption is a risky defence policy. In contrast, at least during the latter part of the 1930s, the RAF (especially) and RN were making efforts to rearm, in preparation for the conflict many could foresee. 🤔😳

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_826223)
3 minutes ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

“A majority of the UK populace evidently believes Putin only blusters w/ empty threats” Two major London hospitals have been under FSB state sponsored terrorism style cyber extortion attack. Owing to under investment in cyber security their critical systems are either impacted or locked by ransom-ware. So paper based backup is in operation and many procedures cancelled because orcs don’t care about health care. That is probably well known to GCHQ but sadly not prevented. Public funding for the NHS focuses on the front line, forgetting that nothing much happens without IT. Politicians only fund what they understand at some… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_825584)
2 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

The Security Service still maintains its sub-title of MI5 (estb. 1909) its original title (they seem to have dropped the hyphen). They are small (just over 5000 staff of which 42% are female) but very effective. They are charged with internal security of the UK and domestic counter-espionage activities within the UK. They are authorised to investigate any person or movement that might threaten the country’s security in any way including terrorists and saboteurs.  They focus on surveillance, intelligence gathering, handle agents & informers and conduct intelligence analysis. They task Scotland Yard to make arrests. They foiled 31 terrorist plots… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_825786)
1 day ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Appreciate the info. Larger staff during WWII and CW-1? Would suggest an increase in staff, given current and projected future threat assessment.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_825963)
23 hours ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

As mentioned MI5 just does domestic Int within the UK homeland. The other main Intelligence organisations are The Secret Service (MI6), GCHQ and Defence Intelligence. Staff numbers overall and budget are quite substantial.

A British tom
A British tom (@guest_825081)
4 days ago

I’m surprised the bridge is still standing.