Sunday, August 31, 2008

Vesti Gives More Details on The Battle of the Black Sea

Note: The official Russian line being pushed in the video is that it was the Tbilisi that was sunk by the Mirazh the night of the 10th. That is clearly untrue and/or a lie, for whatever reason the Russian government chooses to lie about this seemingly unimportant detail. They even go as far as to show the CNN footage of a burning Tbilisi, cropped to avoid showing that the Tbilisi is burning at the pier!

Whatever.

The translation may vary slightly from the video since I am working off a transcript and not the video.

Russian naval blogger U-96 comments:

Whats up with these "five fast moving Georgian boats" with "powerful anti-ship missiles" when there are only two missile boats in the Georgian order of battle?
Besides that, there weren't any SSMs and the radars weren't working.

In the article the sunken vessel was named as the "Tbilisi", but the internet is lousy with pics of that missile boat burning in Poti.

Same as it ever was...more questions than answers. A shame.





More and more details have come out over the past week concerning the Georgian intrusion into South Ossetia. The author of the program "Special Correspondent" Arkady Mamontov has discovered more detail about the battle that took place on the Black Sea between Russian and Georgian forces.

It happened the night of August 10th. The first sea battle between Russian and Georgian forces has already taken place. It was on the third day after the beginning of the bombardment of a sleeping Tskhinvali ordered by Saakashvili. Not everyone knows the details of this clash.

Early in the morning on that day, a group of Black Sea Fleet ships departed from Novorossiysk port and set course for Sukhumi, Abkhazia. On board two large landing ships (BDKs) were 500 peacekeepers with their equipment. They were being transported to Abkhazia to ensure the security of the local population and deter an attack by the Georgian Army. They were escorted by two ships, including the small missile boat (MRK) "Mirazh".

At the same time five high-speed Georgian boats departed Poti on an intercepting course. Their task - attack and sink our ships. The tactics for this attack were worked out by American specialists: fast-moving small boats, armed with powerful anti-ship missiles suddenly strike the BDKs and depart. Upon a successful attack the result would be shock and awe. Hundreds of dead marines, burning ships and a victorious communique for Saakashvili: "We cut off the intervention" and "The Russian Navy isn't good for anything." But it turned out the other way. "Vesti" has succeeded in getting more information from participants in the clash.

18:39 - Russian radar detected a couple of high-speed surface targets heading on an attack course toward our line of ships.

18:40 - An enemy boat approached at a critical distance. Then the flagship issued a command to the BDK "Tsezar' Kunikov" to open fire with a warning shot. One of the ships launched an anti-aircraft missile which landed between the Georgian ships. But they didn't stop, instead gaining speed and tried to reach the so-called "dead zone", where missiles are useless. And then the MRK "Mirazh" recieved the command to destroy the enemy. The distance to the target was 35km. Preparation to fire, calculations, all of that was done in literally a few minutes. Sea battles always go quickly.

18:41 - The commander of the "Mirazh" gave the command to fire. The Georgian sailors had the advantage of speed while ours had the advantage of reaction time. The first missile was launched at the target. A few seconds later and the second was on its way. The flight time to the Georgian ship "Tbilisi" - a minute and 20 seconds. Range to the enemy - 25km.

The first missile hit the machinery spaces on the "Tbilisi". A second later and the bridge was hit. There was a bright blotch on the radar screen of our ship for 30 seconds which meant complete destruction of the target, accompanied by a large burst of heat energy.

18:50 - The commander of the "Mirazh" gave the command to change position. The ship changed course and made for shore at high speed, completing a turn and again turning on an attack course. The radar showed only four targets. One of them was a Georgian boat, gaining speed and closing our ships. The "Mirazh" opened fire with a salvo from the "Osa" (SA-N-4).

At that time the range was down to 15km. The first missile hit the Georgian boat, which immediately began to smoke, slowed and attempted to exit the line of fire. The rest of the Georgian ships disengaged, sharply turning about. As our sailors noted, this maneuver was executed competently. The "Mirazh" did not pursue the beaten enemy as there was no order to finish them off.

At 19:28 after sweeping the area, the "Mirazh" got back into line and continued to Sukhumi. From the commodore's report: "One target was destroyed out of five, one was damaged and three fled. Missile expendature: two anti-surface missiles, one anti-air missile, no loss of personnel. No damage to friendly ships."

The "Mirazh" is one of the first to return from Causasian shores to her homeport of Sevastopol'. She was greeted with fireworks and cheers, but during her entrance into the bay a Ukrainian ship made a point of passing by. It must be said that it was the exact same type of boat sunk by the "Mirazh" on 10 August. From sources in the Ukrainian Navy HQ, it became known that an order came down from Kiev to put a ship and a tug in the roadstead in order to demonstrate to the Russian sailors their dissatisfaction and also to point out who controls Sevastopol' harbor.

It was noticed that there were people in civilian clothes on board the Ukrainian boat directing the operation. Everything was very unpleasant. And only the festive reception by the people of Sevastopol' kept this from blowing up into something scandalous. The sailors of the "Mirazh" watched how the people of Sevastopol' greeted them. The Russian ship smartly pulled into the bay, fully conscious of their force and power, maneuvered and avoided the Ukrainian boat and tug as if they didn't even notice them.

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