Russia's defense ministry has confirmed what the Ukrainian military has been saying for nearly a week: it's using submarines in the Black Sea to carry out cruise missile attacks on Ukrainian targets.
Footage released by the ministry on Friday purported to show the launch of Kalibr cruise missiles from a diesel submarine somewhere in the sea.
The crew of a diesel-electric submarine of the Black Sea Fleet has launched a salvo of Kalibr cruise missiles from the Black Sea against the military infrastructure of the Ukrainian Armed Forces," the ministry said on its Telegram channel.
A week ago, the Ukrainian armed forces reported that two dozen units from the Russian fleet were still operating in the Black Sea, including "submarines with missile weapons." On Monday, they added that Russian troops were "launching missile and bomb strikes on military and civilian infrastructure, including from strategic bombers, ships and submarines."
Amid acts of sabotage this week in the breakaway region of Transnistria in Moldova, Ukraine's military said that Russian submarines "continue to maintain tensions over the likelihood of missile strikes on Ukraine. Enemy forces are also preparing provocations with missile strikes on Transnistria to accuse Ukraine of attacking the unrecognized republic."
Some background: Throughout the war, Russia's defense ministry has boasted that its frigates have targeted Ukraine with missiles. On April 22, the ministry published a video on Telegram described as showing a warship launching four Kalibrs from the Black Sea, taking aim at Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities. But information about submarine launches have been largely shrouded in secrecy, due to the strategic importance of the vessels and their activities. In mid-April, photographs emerged of Russian submarines in the port of Sevastopol in Crimea being loaded with Kalibr missiles.