Western geopolitical observers predict: The top-secret submarine base in Crimea during the Cold War is likely being “rebuild” by Russia. However, there are many open questions behind this prediction.
The Russian fleet is returning to a “Cold War bastion,” which could become a submarine base serving as a satellite for Sevastopol, journalist HI Sutton said in an analysis published in Naval News.
According to Mr. Sutton, Russia may be restoring a secret Soviet strategic military facility during the Cold War – Object 825 GTS. We are talking about the underground submarine base in Balaklava, where the Balaklava Museum complex is now located.
British military analysts cited one of the important reasons for Russia’s revival of the legendary submarine base once was the US supply of Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Ukraine.
According to the Pentagon’s announcement issued in September 2022, Russia’s idea of reviving a secret Soviet-era facility is a response to the military support provided by the West to Ukraine.
“The pictures show that it seems that the Russian Navy is rebuilding the naval base at Balaklava. This is an isolated bay on the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula – the ideal site for a Cold War-era military base,” Sutton said.
According to the expert, this meandering strait provides natural protection not only from storms but also from enemy reconnaissance, even with the most advanced information-gathering means.
At the same time, an exit to the sea was opened on the northern slopes of Mount Tavros, and the entrance to this area could be blocked by a gate weighing up to 150 tons. However, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the base was looted and later turned into an underground museum.
Now, observers are almost certain that the Russian fleet is preparing to restore the once-secret facility. “The ruins at the Balaklava base are a popular tourist attraction and the harbor itself is filled with yachts,” said journalist Sutton.
“From the above fact, the new infrastructure can be explained as civil service. But time and context clearly show that this is a new naval facility,” the British military expert interviewed.
Journalist Sutton predicts that Moscow plans to create a submarine base in Balaklava to serve as a “satellite of Sevastopol”. This will be home to the diesel-electric submarines of Project 636.3 Varshavyanka, which NATO calls a “black hole”.
But there are also comments that there is no guarantee that the Russian Navy needs an additional submarine base like the Object 825 GTS because the current facilities of the Sevastopol port have not been fully exploited.
In the operational composition of the Black Sea Fleet at this time, there are only 6 Kilo 636 diesel-electric attack submarines, such a number is too small compared to a huge base like Balaklava.
Not only that, in order for the aforementioned base to be operational again, it will require a large amount of money to install security systems, power supply, and technical logistics after being abandoned for a long time wasteland.
On top of that, the former Soviet submarine base is no longer a secret construction when almost every corner of it has been opened to the public.