Home » Foreign Forces » Russian Black Sea Cruiser Moscow, Amphibs Heading to Drill in Eastern Mediterranean, MoD Warned Planes Away from Syria


Russian Black Sea Cruiser Moscow, Amphibs Heading to Drill in Eastern Mediterranean, MoD Warned Planes Away from Syria

Russian ship Moscow in 2009.

Russian ship Moscow in 2009.

Several Russian warships are bound for the Eastern Mediterranean for high-end exercises, according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defence.

The Russian Navy’s Black Sea flag-ship — the guided missile cruiser Moscow (or Moskva) — left from Sevastopol in Crimea on Thursday, according to Russian state-controlled media.

The ship follows several amphibious warships and at least one surveillance ship have transited out of the Black Sea into the Mediterranean, according to the independent Turkish ship spotting blog, Bosphorus Naval News.

According to the Thursday statement from the  Russian MoD the formation will start exercises in the next several days and will run into October.

“In the course of the training activity, the Russian ships will practice organization of antisubmarine, anti-ship and air defense as well as search-and-rescue activities and rendering assistance to a distressed vessel,” read the statement from the MoD.

“During the exercise, the military seamen are to perform over 40 different combat tasks including missile and artillery firings at surface and aerial targets.”

The MoD did not specify the location of the drills but — according to one report in Agence France-Presse — the military warned away civilian aircraft from a an area between Cyrpus and the Tartus Russian naval base in Syria.

In addition to Moskow, the MoD said the exercises would include the Kashin-class guided missile destroyer Smetlivy and the Tapir-class landing ship Saratov as well as a variety of auxiliary ships.

Bosphorus Naval News tracked the signals intelligence ship Donuzlav and the Ropucha-class landing ship Novocherkassk moving out of the Black Sea.

The MoD said the exercises had nothing to do with the Russian build up of forces in Syria and been long planned — but the timing of the drill coinciding with the influx of Russian troops raises questions as to the intent of drills.

Tartus is Russia’s sole foreign naval base and the Putin government has been one of the few international supporters of the current Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov condemned a media report that said the Russians were preparing to start striking Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) targets as, “speculation that has nothing to do with reality,” according to The Associated Press.

The following is the complete Sept. 24, 2015 statement from the Russian MoD on the Eastern Mediterranean exercises.

Russian Navy to conduct exercise in the eastern part of the Mediterranean

This September and October the Russian Armed Forces will increase the combat training intensiveness conducting exercise of different scale.

According to the Training plan of the forces in the eastern part of the Mediterranean adopted in the end of 2014, an exercise with the Russian Navy formation including the Moskva missile cruiser, Smetlivy guard ship, Saratov major landing ship and the auxiliary vessels is scheduled for this period.

In the course of the training activity, the Russian ships will practice organization of antisubmarine, antiship and air defence as well as search-and-rescue activities and rendering assistance to a distressed vessel.

During the exercise, the military seamen are to perform over 40 different combat tasks including missile and artillery firings at surface and aerial targets.

To provide safety navigation, the exercise zone was declared dangerous for civil aircraft and ships according the international law.

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Categories: Foreign Forces, News & Analysis, Surface Forces
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • Bush+Obama=Satans love child

    Do we even have a presence in the Mediterranean right now?

    • Secundius

      @ Bush+Obama=Satans love child.

      There’s NATO, WHAT additional Presences do you NEED…

      • Bush+Obama=Satans love child

        I read on RT that as of Sept 3 we had 4 Destroyers & a CSG in the Red Sea. Don’t Know if they are linked to NATO forces currently but I hear ya. It’s nice to see our allies stepping up their individual Naval capabilities.

        • Secundius

          @ Bush+Obama=Satan love child.

          Well Turkey control’s the Straits going into the Black Sea and Three NATO countries in the bordering the Black Sea. Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, and at Least Three American Air Force Bases inside ALL Three NATO Countries and Two American Army Bases. One in Bulgaria and One in Turkey. Their are Two Joint American Naval Bases there, One Joint American/Bulgarian/Romania Base and Joint American Air Force/Navy Base in Turkey. Not too mention in the Surrounding NATO Countries as well.

          The Montreux Convention of 1936, prevents the US. from sending a Aircraft Carrier into the Black Sea itself. Putin, might be “Stupid” enough to Start a War with NATO. But Russia, won’t Survive the War. Putin, might as a Permanent Guest of Syrian President Assad…

          • Sibir_RUS

            Syria – the cradle of Christianity.
            USA with NATO will suffer a crushing defeat in a nuclear war, if someone has manifested a desire to fight with Russia over Syria, because we’re not backing down

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            And Baghdad, was the Cradle of Culture. And Ancient Rome, was the Most Powerful Government on Earth. So what’s your POINT.

          • Sibir_RUS

            President Barack Obama says that Russia is a “regional power”.
            My country has regained a permanent presence in the Eastern Mediterranean and is responsible for the maintenance of peace in this region.

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            The Russian Navy, has approximately 75-Ship’s in their Fleet. Of those, ~80% Actually Function. The only reason the Russian Destroyer “Smetlivy” is even there, is because the Russian Federation/ex-Soviet Navy. Has a DISMAL track record for Maintaining Their Ship’s. The “Smetlivy” needs NEW Marine-Grade Gas-Turbines, and the ONLY place in the Black Sea that produces the Zorya-Mashproekt Marine Gas-Turbine Company is in the Ukraine Republic. Russia works on the “Stalin Model”, Quantity Trump’s Quality. Virtually EVERTHING the Russian’s Design, Build or Manufacture IS JUNK…

          • Sibir_RUS

            In Syria today live large number of citizens of the Russian Federation and about 100,000 families of mixed marriages. Most of them refuse to go to Russia and they hope on the cessation of hostilities, but we are ready to take them all back. In the case of aggravation of the crisis, my country will begin the operation to evacuation of the Russian citizens and members of their families.

  • John B. Morgen

    We’re heading towards the good old days of the Cold War, running amok of things in the Mediterranean Sea [pond].

    • Sibir_RUS

      Today Russia has the most modern and efficient strategic nuclear forces.
      Our nuclear triad continues to strengthen. We took a good pace and the U.S. will no longer can to catch up Russia. So it makes no sense to start a new arms race.

      USA can still save face if you start to respect and observe international law, because Russia intends to live in peace with all countries on this planet.

      • John B. Morgen

        So Russia is getting rid of some junk, so what. Russia still has a long ways to go in order to match the United States; toe by toe. You’re a fine one to talk about Russia is seeking peace. You’re not fooling anyone here–comrade!

        • Sibir_RUS

          LONDON, September 27. 2014
          Henry Kissinger recommends
          West should take constructive approach to Russia.
          In this context, it singles out Kissinger’s
          approach to Russia, saying: “From the 17th century to the mid-20th century,
          Russia proved crucial in maintaining the balance of world power – thwarting the
          expansionist dreams of Charles XII of Sweden, Napoleon, and Hitler.”
          He said it in an interview published on Saturday by The Independent, a British
          daily

          • John B. Morgen

            Comrade! Henry Kissinger is still using his old operational mode or approach to foreign policy, as he did when he negotiated the end United States involvement in South East Asia. “Constructive approach” is another way of saying get the most for your side as possible at the expense of the opposition. I would be careful about using the phrase “constructive approach” if I were you.

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            You forgot the “Expansionist Dream’s” of Joseph Stalin, too…

          • Sibir_RUS

            “The Red Army played a decisive role in the liberation of Germany”. German Chancellor Angela Merkel
            “We and our allies owe and acknowledge an everlasting debt of gratitude to the armies and people of the Soviet Union.” Frank Knox. Secretary of the Navy

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            Why don’t you ask the Surviving German’s of WW2, if they were Liberated by the Soviet Union. My Mother, wasn’t even German. And she got Raped Twice by her Russian Liberator’s…

          • Sibir_RUS

            “History knows no greater display of courage than that shown by the people of Soviet Russia…” Henry L. Stimson. Secretary of War
            “The gallantry and aggressive fighting spirit of the Russian soldiers command the American army’s administration.” George C. Marshall. Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
            “I join … in admiration for the Soviet Union’s heroic and historic defense.” Ernest J. King Commander in Chief United States Fleet
            “… the SCALE AND GRANDEUR of the (Russian) effort mark it as the GREATEST MILITARY ACHIEVEMENT IN ALL HISTORY.” General Douglas MacArthur. Commander in Chief Southwest Pacific Area.

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            They gave Accolade to Mao Zedong, too. And he Slaughtered Half the Population of His Own People. Best Estimates put’s Joseph Stalin at around 80-Million to 100-Million Citizens of the Soviet Union…

          • Sibir_RUS

            … you’re an idiot.

          • Sibir_RUS

            V.V.Putin: “Our country was at war not with Germany, we were at war with Nаzi Germany. With Germany, which itself was the first victim of the Nаzi regime”

          • Sibir_RUS

            Who are you trying to soften? No one raped your mom. You made it all up.

            Due to the fact that military psychologists have established a link between low combat capability of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the prohibition to engage in intimate relationships with small and large cattle, in 2011, the US Senate passed a law that abolished the penalty for sеx with animals.

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            PROVE IT…

          • Sibir_RUS

            MH-17
            The airspace over the conflict zone was not closed. It is not necessary to prove. It’s an obvious fact.

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            And just what Exactly does Airspace Prove…

          • Sibir_RUS

            I gave you the answer, thinking that you’re asking me, who blame for downed Boeing in Ukraine.
            Probably, you wanted me to proved that the Red Army didn’t rape your mom.
            But this is not required. There is such concept – the presumption of innocence, according to which I can to say, that our soldiers didn’t rape your mother, until then, until you prove otherwise.

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            No, I Actually DON’T…

          • Sibir_RUS

            Just never lie to me more about your “raped” mom.

          • Linda Lee

            In the US returning troops are killing themselves in record numbers due to knowing they murdered innocents at the behest of their evil government. If I can know the truth then those brain washed soldiers should have known too. What goes around comes around….

        • Sibir_RUS

          The Pope Francis claimed that any important problem of the modern world can’t be solved without Russia’s involvement.

          • John B. Morgen

            Not so comrade. Resolving our debt with China does not required Russia’s involvement, nor our issues with China over the South China Sea. So the Pope can say anything that he wants, but it doesn’t always make it right all of the time.

  • publius_maximus_III

    “In the course of the training activity, the Russian ships will practice organization of antisubmarine, anti-ship and air defense as well as search-and-rescue activities and rendering assistance to a distressed vessel,” read the statement from the MoD.

    How clever for da Poot to build a breakdown into the schedule of this high profile naval exercise, just in case of a -real- breakdown in the Mediterranean. If this “rendering assistance” practice happens near the beginning of the course of events, then I’ll withdraw my accusation. But if they hold off until the very last day, or even decide to cut it out of their maneuvers, then we’ll all know what the REAL plan was from the beginnning…

    • Sibir_RUS

      Russia regained a permanent presence of our Navy in the Mediterranean sea. Get used -It for a long time.

      • publius_maximus_III

        Have one for the stirrup, Tovarish.

        Compare your long Arctic coastline to our thousands of miles of temperate coastline and you’ll understand geographically why historically the Navy’s of our two nations have never been anywhere close in parity. You guys need more warm water ports, and they ain’t a making them anymore. Maybe try a little island building like your neighbors to the south? That little Black Sea lake of yours is ideal for bottling up half your fleet with a few mines in the strait.

        We were glad to see you folks bring back the Russian Orthodox Church, but KGB Putin and the Russian mafia, not so much.

        • Sibir_RUS

          Find
          The Sunday Times. UK
          “The West fears the Beast from Beneath”

          • publius_maximus_III

            Yada, yada, yada. I remember reading about how we used to track your “silent” subs, thanks to a noise signature made by your props, at least up until the Japanese (Toshiba) sold you some advanced milling machines. Then that capability went away. But I’m sure other ways of detecting a “silent” sub have been developed since then.

          • Sibir_RUS

            you’re just jealous
            In the U.S. still have not mastered the welding of titanium in argon for building titanium submarines.

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  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    Since there are not enough Burkes to go around and no frigates. It looks like it’s up to the LCS to keep tabs on the Russians. They shadow our Carriers and other units all the time. Maybe if we use an LCS to shadow them the Russians will laugh themselves into collisions with each other.

    • Sibir_RUS

      For what?

      • TomD

        Sailboater was making fun of the LCS. It was not a serious post.

    • Marjus

      What are you talking about, these Russian ships are sitting ducks in that part of the world away from mother Russia’s protection. NATO air assets in the region can pick them apart with ease, same with NATO submarines. Russian forces from the mainland can’t come to their rescue because they have to go through NATO/allied forces territory/airspace to get there. Game over. Just posturing, nothing more. Also the Russians haven’t physically shadowed US carriers for a very long time. The fact that they need to for any sort of successful attack just goes to show how weak their long range reconnaissance is.

  • Sibir_RUS

    “Tartus is Russia’s sole foreign naval base” – It’s not true.
    In the present form this “base” is only a small technical point for service vehicles.
    This is not naval base

    • John B. Morgen

      You’re playing with semantics, a base is base—period!

  • Sibir_RUS

    President Barack Obama says that Russia is a “regional power”.
    My country has regained a permanent presence in the Eastern Mediterranean and is responsible for the maintenance of peace in this region.

    • John B. Morgen

      Russia is only a regional nuclear power, but nothing more than that. Your submarine fleet has been reduced down to fewer numbers after the Soviet Union had fall apart. Your surface fleet has also been reduced, but even worst. So stop kidding yourself…..

      • Sibir_RUS

        Area of the European part of Russia from Kaliningrad to the Urals, almost 4 million square kilometers (it is slightly smaller than the area of all EU countries.)
        Area of the Asian part of Russia from the Urals to Chukotka over 13 million square kilometers (it is slightly smaller than the area of all EU countries and USA taken together). In Russia concentrated are big reserves of oil, gas and fresh water. We have the most modern and efficient strategic nuclear forces. My country has the right of veto in the United Nations as the country of the winner of the World War II. Our nuclear triad is a weapon of deterrence.
        Russia is prepared to assume its share of responsibility for the current global state of affairs. We have no great-power ambitions, nor do we suffer from inferiority complex. We are committed to finding solutions to existing problems based on the rule of international law, balance of interests, and common sense. To this end, we actively participate in various collective mechanisms for managing international relations at the global and regional levels, including, first of all, the UN, but also G20, CIS, SCO, BRICS and others. This network diplomacy reflects the emergence of a new polycentric world order which would be more equitable, democratic and sustainable.

        • John B. Morgen

          The Soviet Union/Russia didn’t won World War II alone, if was not for the Allies and Hitler’s poor decisions that he had made as a leader. The Soviet Union would have been defeated by the German Wehrmacht a longed time ago. You need to read up on World War II military history.

          As for Russia’s territorial ambitions, you’d got to be kidding me! Then give back the Crimea to Ukraine, and stop attacking her. Return the Kurile Islands to Japan, and the territories of Poland back to Poland. I should I continue? Think about it–comrade.

          • Sibir_RUS

            you ask to Russia return to Poland Western Ukraine?

          • Sibir_RUS

            Fatal Error of Hitler was the fact that he was an admirer of Napoleon, but did not read “War and Peace” by Tolstoy.

          • John B. Morgen

            Hitler failed in not understanding the importance of sea power, and he also failed in not reading the Bismarck’s papers on foreign policy.

          • publius_maximus_III

            Great book by Lev. From reading it, I learned what a Samovar is, since one is mentioned on about every other page. Yes, the Russian winter as much as the Russian army defeated both invaders. They actually let Napoleon sack and burn Moscow, knowing they would defeat them bit by bit on the long, long march back to France — sort of a Jujutsu military maneuver.

  • Secundius

    @ Sibir_RUS.

    During the Soviet Union era of the 1960’s, Russia produced 1-Million pair’s of Ladies High-Heeled Shoes. With the Heels attached to the Toe’s of the Shoe’s, and then tried to Sell them Anyway. “So Much For Quality Control”…

    • Sibir_RUS

      Russian share in the sale of tanks in the world – more than 50%. Every second main battle tank in the world, from those that were sold, made in Nizhny Tagil.

      • Secundius

        @ Sibir_RUS.

        Every Tank to Soviet Union and Russian Federation EVER Built, was a “Piece of SH^T”. And the T-34 was the WORST “Piece of Sh^t” of ALL OF THEM…

        • Sibir_RUS

          at the exhibition of arms in Abu Dhabi in ‘ 93, Abrams lost a caterpillar on a small tussock .
          It is not surprising that the U.S. is afraid to participate in the world championship tank biathlon.

          • Secundius

            @ Sirir_RUS.

            Abrams tank never had a Diesel Engine, all were equipped with Gas-Turbines. And Caterpillar DOESN’T build Gas-Turbines…

          • Sibir_RUS

            The Abrams is outdated.

          • Secundius

            @ Sirib_RUS.

            Not by the T-14 Armata, it isn’t…

          • Sibir_RUS

            Can you explain to me the origins of your Russophobia?
            …Only don’t wtite me about your mom.

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            I don’t Hate Russian’s, or Serb’s either…

          • Sibir_RUS

            The American discovery channel called T-34 best tank of the Second World war.

          • Secundius

            @ Sirib_RUS.

            The Screw’s were of a Higher Quality Steel then the Tank was. The Engine was made of Aluminum, and had a Life Expectancy of LESS than 75-Hours. It’s Road Speed was half that of the Sherman. The Gun was so Weak that the T-34 had to get within 500-meters of a Panther to kill it. The Sherman could do it a 800-meters. It had NO Radio, NO Heating System. The only GOOD Features of the T-34, was the Transmission and the Suspension System. That WE to United States Sold Them…

          • Sibir_RUS

            75 hours? – it’s not grounded theory. Many of our T-34 tanks passed war from beginning to end.

            Hitler killed himself on 30 April 1945
            Flag of our Victory was hoisted over the Reichstag 1 may 1945.
            On 2 may 1945 Berlin ceased resistance.
            May 9, 1945 (Moscow time) Germany signed the unconditional surrender.
            In Europe and in the USA it was may 8, local time.

          • Secundius

            @ Sirib_RUS.

            Go to Chris – Intel – Corner. blogspot. com /…/WW2 Myths – T-34 Best Tank of the War – Christos Military.

            I had this same Debate on IHS 360’s Janes, about 6-months ago…

          • Sibir_RUS

            Say Hi to Your Mom

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            Actually, the British RAF and the American 8thAF. Stopped bombing German Cities in 5 May 1945. And the Soviet Army and “Allied” Armies meet on the Elbe River in 6 May 1945. And Nazi-Germany “Officially” Surrendered Unconditionally in 7 May 1945 at Reims…

          • Sibir_RUS

            Our victory was inevitable. USSR built tanks with a speed of 5-7 T-34, while the Germans did 1 Panther or Tiger.

          • Sibir_RUS

            On 7 may in Rеims where the rate was Eisеnhower, had signed a prеliminary Protocol.
            In the night of 8 to 9 may 1945 in Kаrlshorst (East Bеrlin suburb) was signed the Act of unconditionаl surrendеr of Nаzi Germаny.

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            Correct, but General Ivan Alexevevich Susloparov was the Soviet Representative at the German Surrender. The Other Surrender that occurred on 9 May 1945, was Staged. Because, Stalin thought that Susloparov was too Junior of a General Officer to participate at the Surrender. But Officially the Surrender Date was 7 May 1945, and that’s how it recorded in the History Books, except possibly Soviet History Books…

          • Sibir_RUS

            The German Instrument of Surrender ended World War II in Europe. The definitive text was signed in Karlshorst, Berlin on 8 May 1945 by representatives of the three armed services of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) and the Allied Expeditionary Force together with the Supreme High Command of the Red Army

            Your historians are lying and your Commander in Chief Barack Hussein Obama said, that his uncle liberated Auschwitz, but did not provide any proof, that this “uncle” served in the Red Army.

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            Actually, it was the First Soviet-Ukranian Army that Liberated Auschwitz. And President Barack Obama, Misidentified the Liberated Concentration Camp as being Auschwitz. In fact the Camp his Uncle Helped Liberate was Ohrdruf a Sub-Camp of Buchenwald.

            It was Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, Chancellor (Fuhrer) of Nazi-Germany that signed the Articles of Unconditional Surrender at Reims. Unfortunately Oberkommando der Wehrmacht Wilhelm Keitel had NO Authority to sign the Terms of Surrender. Because he Neither had the Rank or Authority too do so. Doenitz became the New Chancellor (Fuhrer) of Nazi-German upon Adolf Hitler’s Death, NOT Wilhelm Keitel…

          • Secundius

            @ Sibir_RUS.

            The 1993 Abu Dhabi Tank in Question, Sir. Was a Chinese Norinco Al-Khalid MBT-2000 (Type 90-II) Tank of Poor Export Quality, even by Russian Standards. And the 1,200-bhp Diesel Engine, was a “Poorer” Quality Copy of a Ukrainian Diesel Engine. Sold to Pakistan. How the Pakistani’s Must Have Loved the Chinese After That…

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  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    Russia is a regional power? Bull!! 75 new ships to be built by 2020 24 of them submarines. Putin has been rebuilding the military. Taking old equipment scraping it replacing it. Sure in Naval strength Russia does not have Nimitz class aircraft carriers, etc. but to act disrepectful toward Russia is dangerous and stupid. Russia has needs and wants but Our CinChief has no idea how they think. maybe he needs an adviser like Rice. The Russians are not going away. They still have ships pulling into Vietnam too. Russian navy has many Carrier Killers submarines and surface ships. Russian ships may not be like ours but I think they are better armed than our ships. Plus a new diesel submarine and everyone knows how hard they are to detect. I am retired analyst as well as a former boatswain mate

  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    Was looking at photos of the new Gorshkov Frigate. The Russians have been doing there homework. And the general characteristics, not bad at all.

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