TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Northern Fleet service members

File Photo of Deck of Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

(Kremlin.ru – February 23, 2017) Vladimir Putin met with Northern Fleet officers who distinguished themselves in service and combat missions in the Mediterranean, off the coast of the Syrian Arab Republic. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, First of all, today, February 23, I would like to congratulate you on the Defender of the Fatherland Day. I want to […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: Russia to build full-fledged naval base in Syria

File Photo of Deck of Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

#Russia and #Syria signed an agreement to transform the naval repair and docking facility in #Tartus into a full-fledged naval base. Up to 11 Russian warships will be deployed in the eastern Mediterranean within the next few years. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NIKOLAI LITOVKIN, RBTH – January 23, 2017) On Jan. 20 Moscow and Damascus signed a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Campaign in Syria Exposes Moscow’s Defense Gaps; Deployment of warships to assist Assad regime lays bare weaknesses in Russian military’s naval aviation and carrier operations” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of Deck of Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

“A flotilla of Russian warships in the Mediterranean … provid[es] a high-profile show of force in support of the Syrian regime. But … also throw[s] into sharp relief the limits of Moscow’s conventional military. … the quarter-century-old Kuznetsov lacks the kind of powerful catapult system … featured on U.S. carriers, forcing Russian planes to carry lighter payloads and less fuel […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH: “Russia to establish a permanent naval base in Syria”

File Photo of Deck of Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

“The Russian naval facility in the city of Tartus will be upgraded into a permanent naval base. Military experts believe that the Russian Defense Ministry may set up a detachment of ships in the Mediterranean armed with Kalibr-NK cruise missiles and headed by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.”

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NEWSWATCH: “NATO, Russia to Discuss Increased Baltic Tensions. Russia promises troop buildup in response to 4,000-strong Western force” – Wall Street Journal

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

Russian officials pushed a new air-safety initiative for the Baltic Sea in a meeting with [NATO] ambassadors … as they continued to criticize [NATO’s] planned buildup in the region. … [a proposal that] would require all planes flying in the Baltic Sea region to operate with their transponders turned on … … allied officials welcomed [the proposal] saying it could […]

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RBTH: Russia to open new naval base in Black Sea to counter NATO

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The Russian Navy is to open a new base on the Black Sea coast in Novorossiysk hosting Varshavyanka class Project 636.6 diesel-electric submarines with Kalibr cruise missiles. However, there are still some weather-based issues to be resolved. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NIKOLAI LITOVKIN, RBTH – June 29, 2016) The Russian Defense Ministry is completing the construction of […]

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What Russia will do if Ukraine joins the NATO mission in the Black Sea

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

Kiev has expressed its desire to join the NATO mission in the Black Sea. The Russian Foreign Ministry says if it goes ahead Moscow will take “appropriate measures.” What exactly can Russia do? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NIKOLAI LITOVKIN, RBTH – June 21, 2016) In the course of the two-day NATO summit on June 14 and 15 […]

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Black Sea Rising: Rebirth of a Russian Fleet

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – March 17, 2016) From a military point of view, Russia’s ground operation to annex Crimea in 2014 was an exceptionally clean affair, and gave ample opportunity to demonstrate the fruits of Moscow’s military modernization efforts. But for Russia’s famed Black Sea Fleet, the most tactically relevant action it could take was to […]

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Syria Opposition Says Russian Military Pullout Helps Peace Talks

Syria Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – March 15, 2016) Syria’s main opposition group said Russia’s withdrawal of forces from the country will help peace talks in Geneva, even as a top Russian military official said that airstrikes will continue against terrorists. The pullout ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a positive step which will help to move forward […]

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Why Russia is steaming back into the Pacific

TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

Russia’s power projection in the Pacific is in sync with its growing assertiveness globally, but it doesn’t necessarily threaten the U.S. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – February 4, 2016) Russia is expanding its military presence in the Pacific in a manner not seen since the Cold War. From California to Guam […]

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RBTH: Cable wars: Can Russia really cut the jugular?

Both the U.S. and Russia have the means to clip undersea cables but don’t worry, unless there’s a full on war, your internet surfing won’t be interrupted. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – December 9, 2015) There are more than 285 cables crossing the world’s oceans, with the entire network spanning over […]

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Interfax: Foreign Ministry: Russian sub rumors are part of information campaign

Russian Nuclear Submarine

(Interfax – October 27, 2015) Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has described a number of Western military officials’ latest remarks as elements of an information campaign being waged against Russia. “We have encountered a very large-scale, well-orchestrated and strategically structured information campaign aimed at shaping public opinions. The main goal of this campaign is to create an enemy image. […]

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Why Russia Is Expanding Its Naval Base in Syria

Russian Naval Vessel file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – September 22, 2015) The Russian military is expanding its tiny naval facility at Tartus on the Syrian coast to handle bigger warships and transport vessels amid a general buildup of Russian forces in territory controlled by Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday, citing military sources. The news broke as […]

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Fifteen Years on, Russians Less Inclined to Cast Blame for Kursk Submarine Tragedy

Kursk Submarine File Photo, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 12, 2015) Fifteen years after one of the worst disasters in Russian naval history – the sinking of the Kursk submarine in the Barents Sea in which all 118 crew members died – the number of Russians who blame the authorities for not doing enough to rescue the sailors has dropped. […]

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Abandoned Mistral Deal Still Divides Russian Officials, Analysts

Mistral Class Ship

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – August 5, 2015) France has agreed to reimburse Russia for the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers purchased under a 2011 contract, ending a months-long dispute over the fate of Russia’s largest foreign arms purchase in the post-Soviet era. But the question of whether Russia really needs such expensive ships other than for mere […]

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New Russian Naval Doctrine Enshrines Confrontation With NATO

Russian Naval Vessel file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – July 28, 2015) President Vladimir Putin on Sunday approved amendments to Russia’s naval doctrine that prioritize the development of Russian positions in strategic seas around the world, according to the Kremlin website. The updated doctrine takes advantage of a huge injection of funds into Russia’s naval strength to shift the emphasis of […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Sink or sell? Russia spat leaves France with warships to spare

Mistral Class Ship

Tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine have blocked a deal in which Moscow was to buy the ships, leaving Paris trying to negotiate a face-saving compromise and work out CAwhat to do with two unwanted warships.

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Swedish Admiral Admits ‘Russian Submarine’ Was Actually Civilian Boat

Map of Sweden and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – April 14, 2015) A photo that a retired Swedish naval officer said showed a Russian submarine in Swedish waters last autumn was actually of a much smaller civilian boat, a Swedish admiral told his country’s media Monday. “Analysis revealed that the photograph taken in Stockholm’s inner archipelago was of a smaller boat,” […]

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Despite Swedes’ Sub Panic, Russia’s Baltic Fleet Is Far From Fearsome

Russian Nuclear Submarine file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – October 22, 2014) As Sweden’s navy goes on its sixth day of hunting a suspected Russian submarine, Swedish defense officials announced on Tuesday that they intend to force the mystery vessel, if found, to surface “with armed force, if necessary,” the English-language Swedish newspaper The Local reported. The announcement that Sweden is […]

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Russian Navy to Expand Air Patrols in Arctic

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW, January 3 (RIA Novosti) ­ Combat aircraft from Russia’s Northern Fleet will extend the ranges of their patrol flights over the Arctic in 2014 using a network of revamped Soviet-era airfields, the fleet’s spokesman said Friday. “In 2014, the naval aviation of the Northern Fleet will significantly expand the geography of Arctic patrol flights, including with the use of […]

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RIA Novosti: Arctic Made Priority for Russian Navy in 2014

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian naval forces are set to make the Arctic a priority region, boosting combat training and scouting lesser-known areas of the icy territory in 2014, a navy spokesman said Monday. The Northern Fleet will conduct sailing and diving expeditions in the Arctic and develop a series of ice-class patrol ships to protect the country’s […]

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Russia building its military presence in the Arctic

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitry Litovkin, special to RBTH  – September 17, 2013) Petr Veliky, the most powerful ship in the Russian navy, recently crossed the Northern Sea Route for the first time. Although the event was virtually unnoticed amid the escalating military conflict in Syria, pundits believe its implications are also important for international security. The […]

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Russia Reopens Military Base to Control Key Part of Arctic – Putin

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 16, 2013) ­ Russia will reopen a military base in the New Siberian Islands, an Arctic archipelago north of Yakutia, to secure control of the strategic region, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday. “Our forces left the area in 1993, and in the meantime it has become a very important point in the Arctic Ocean, […]

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