I find this story a bit pathetic:
A flotilla of Russian warships is passing through the English Channel en route to Syria.
Two British naval ships are shadowing the vessels. The Ministry of Defence said they would be “man-marked every step of the way” while near UK waters.
The ships are within international waters but Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the UK would “be watching as part of our steadfast commitment to keep Britain safe”.
Oh please. As if the Russian carrier is suddenly going to hang a right and splurge little green men all over Kent. This is just an opportunity for the Defence Minister to sound tough and the Royal Navy to show that it’s still relevant.
The UK’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan, escorted by the Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond, steamed from Portsmouth on Tuesday to track the Kuznetsov group as it headed south from the Norwegian Sea.
Why? To give them something to do which might be slightly less humiliating than being captured by Iranians and made to cry?
Sending a large Russian flotilla through the North Sea and the English Channel sends a clear message to the West: anything you can do, we can do just as well – or even better.
You don’t need to be a supporter of the Russian military or their actions in Syria to find this ridiculous: the English Channel is the most logical route to follow. Did the Belgians send any ships out? The French? This isn’t the Channel Dash. Next time just ignore them, eh?
And this amused:
A Russian tug, believed to be in convoy with the taskforce, entered the channel first off the coast near Ramsgate.
As Streetwise Professor is fond of pointing out, the Russian navy can’t go anywhere without its rescue tug. The accompanying video of the Admiral Kuznetsov shows columns of black smoke belching from its twin funnels, a feature which probably wouldn’t have helped the Japanese at Midway. Neither navy comes across particularly well in this report.