Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 15 February 2022 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Russian Warships Sail To Black Sea For Drills: Blockage Or Potential Aggression?
A flotilla of Black Fleet vessels alongside some warships of the Baltic Fleet and the Pacific Fleet started drills in the Black Sea. What may raise concern is that the last of them are large amphibious vessels while such a military operation could be one of Russia’s offensive options. Blocking a few seas is a serious obstacle to maritime trade with Ukraine.
The drills are scheduled from February 13 to 19. The Russian submarine Rostov on Don, which is capable of carrying Kalibr cruise missiles, passed the Bosphorus. The diesel-electric Project 636.3 vessel was laid down in 2014. The submarine belongs to the Black Sea Fleet’s 4th Independent Submarine Brigade. Earlier, more than thirty Black Sea Fleet vessels took to the sea from Sevastopol and Novorossiysk to hold navy drills to “defend the coast of Crimea.” But there are more Russian vessels that may intimidate Ukraine at sea. A flotilla of six Russian amphibious vessels––three of the Northern Fleet and three of the Baltic Fleet––arrived in Sevastopol a few days ago. Five of them are Ropucha-class vessels while the remaining one is an Ivan Gren-class warship. They will take part in joint drills, according to the Russian defense ministry. Ukraine’s foreign ministry strongly protested a decision by Russia to block parts of the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait “under the pretext of holding regular naval exercises.” If Russia invades Ukraine, its vessels will play a supportive role. First, they will cut off Ukrainian sea ports in the Sea of Azov and west of Crimea. Secondly, they are capable of conducting artillery and missile firing at Ukrainian targets, without Kalibr able to reach any target on Ukrainian territory. Thirdly, the vessels could assist ground forces in some operations on land, by staging an amphibious attack on targets alongside Ukraine’s coast.
If content prepared by Warsaw Institute team is useful for you, please support our actions. Donations from private persons are necessary for the continuation of our mission.
All texts published by the Warsaw Institute Foundation may be disseminated on the condition that their origin is credited. Images may not be used without permission.