The Marshal Ustinov cruiser and a group of other Russian warships continue on their supposed route back to Russia and have been seen sailing around the UK. Some days ago, two American destroyers had escorted them through the Strait of Gibraltarafter its operations in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of February.
The group of Russian Navy ships appear to have taken a turn from the main route they were going to deal with, and are now sailing through British waters. Besides of Slava Class Cruiser Marshal Ustinov, in the ship set is found the Udaloy-class destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov and an oil tanker, Vyazma.
According to British media, Russian warships are currently sailing through the south-west of the UK. The exact positions of the cruiser and destroyer are not visible from open sources, but the tanker, which transmits its position on the AIS (Automatic Identification System), has passed the entrance to the English Channel and is sailing into the Irish Sea, followed by HMS Lancastera Royal Navy warship.
Vyazma 🇷🇺 a Russian oil ship is believed to be accompanied by 🇷🇺 cruiser Marshal Ustinov and 🇷🇺 destroyer Kulakov off the Irish and UK coasts. NATO Warship F229 (HMS Lancaster 🇬🇧 ) is right beside them shadowing. https://t.co/xD03ntYevM pic.twitter.com/JEjuSSaMpk
— Brian (@bfitzsimons_) August 30, 2022
The Ustinov is considered to be the “sister ship” of the Moskva, a ship that sank in April, at the beginning of the Ukrainian war, after one large-scale attack with Neptune missiles by Ukrainian forces. Her sinking caused a major morale blow to the Russian Navy.
The Slava-class cruiser left the Mediterranean on August 24, after more than six months deployed to the point to support the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russian warships escorted by Gibraltar
The passage of warships through these waters coincides with recent British threats against Russia and the transfer of military aircraft to civilian airports, and they came within approximately 80 kilometers of its territorial waters. The United Kingdom fears that the boats could spend a long time in its waters. Also, the route taken, through the UK, seems provocative for NATO.
Last Thursday, two US destroyers followed the Russian cruiser for two hours Marshal Ustinov after passing through the Strait of Gibraltar, based on photos posted by ship spotters.
Military experts believe that the departure of the Ustinov, along with the other vessels, is related to a possible withdrawal of key Russian assets from the Mediterranean, where it was serving external defense work to help after the invasion of Ukraine Y deter direct NATO involvement.
Beyond Tartus, a Syrian port city, Russia does not have any other naval base in the Mediterranean. The structure of this base is considered “very basic”, and has no comparison with the United States naval bases in this sea, located in Rota and Naples.