Russian migrations northward

This week, in the night of May 14th, a significant Russian fleet crossed the Strait of Gibraltar exiting the Mediterranean.

The naval formation, departing from Tartus, Syria, on May 7th, consisted of the corvettes “Orekhovo-Zuyevo” (“Buyan-M” class, Pr. 21631) and “Merkury” (“Steregushchiy” class, Pr. 20382); the amphibious assault ships “Ivan Gren” (“Ivan Green” class, Pr. 11711) and “Alexandr Otrakovsky” (“Ropucha” class, Pr. 775); the reconnaissance and information gathering ship (SIGNIT/ELINT) “Kildin” (“Moma” class, Pr- 861M); and the oiler “Kama” (“Kaliningradneft” class, Pr. REF-675).

The two amphibious vessels and the oiler belong to the Northern Fleet. One corvette, the Orekhovo-Zuyevo, is from the Black Sea Fleet but is heading to Baltiysk for long overdue maintenance.

With these departures, the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean now consists of a cruiser, the “Varyag” (“Slava” class, Pr. 1164), two frigates, the Marshall Shaposhnikov ( “Udaloy” class, Pr. 1155) and “Admiral Grigorovich” (Krivak V class, Pr. 11356R) , one submarine, the “Ufa” (Improved “Kilo class”, Pr. 636.3) and two tanker ships (Kola and Vice Admiral Paromov).

However, the Varyag, the Marshall Shaposhnikov, and one tanker will soon leave the Mediterranean for South America, leaving the Russian naval forces at minimal levels (one frigate, one submarine, and one tanker).

It’s likely that in the coming weeks we will see the entry of new Moscow units into the Mediterranean unless Russia decides to leave this theater almost completely unguarded.

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