Northern Fleet landing ship is ready to start shuttle tourists from Crimea
The 112 meter long ship that belongs to Russia’s Northern Fleet has started shuttling of civilian personell and goods across the Kerch Strait, the waters that separate Russia’s Krasnodar Krai with the annexed Crimea.
The Olenegorsky Gornyak is one of three landing ships from the Northern Fleet that has been in the Black Sea since Russia started its full-scale war against Ukraine in early 2022. The three ships created a stir in the Nordic region as they few weeks ahead of the onslaught sailed close to the Swedish island of Gotland. They were all believed to carry servicemen and military hardware from the 61st Naval Infantry Brigade in Kola Peninsula.
The men and military equipment were soon later put ashore on occupied Ukrainian land.
Now, the 43 year old ship that can carry up to 450-ton cargo and 25 armored personnel carriers is engaged in the transportation of a different kind of goods.
This week, the Olenegorsky Gornyak reportedly made the first shipment of civilian goods between the ports of Kavkaz and the Kerch fish port. Onboard was 14 lorries, a local TV station reports.
Also a second landing ship, the Kaliningrad from the Baltic Fleet, is engaged in the logistical operations, the Russian Navy newspaper Na Strazhe Zapolyare informs. The ships can each carry up to 40 car and shuttle between the two ports at least five times per day.
The ships are also prepared to transport tourists.
The shuttling starts as large queues are amassed by the Kerch bridge following stricter vehicle control.
“We have come to help ease pressure on the Kerch Bridge, where there now are many kilometers of queue,” says Maksim Rykhlov, ship commander at the Olenegorsky Gornyak.
A big number of soldiers and major volumes of military hardware from the Northern Fleet have been deployed in the war. Looses have been dramatic. According to a Norwegian intelligence report published in February this year, the Russian land forces in the Kola Peninsula have been reduced to one fifth of its former capacity.