– USNI Blog – What is less mentioned however—and this is no less important—are the more exclusively operational aspects of the recent crisis in the Sea of Azov. Especially important would be the state of the Azov Sea littoral battlespace, current and going forward. A closer look at this matter is perhaps in order.
– War on the Rocks – Russian maritime dominance in the Black Sea is back.
– Washington Free Beacon – Kalibr cruise missiles will target Washington, East Coast cities.
– National Interest – The United States must act cautiously to defuse the new crisis in the Sea of Azov.
– Sputnik News – The Northern Sea Route is a shipping lane running along the Russian Arctic coast, allowing passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Northern coast of Siberia. Starting in 2019, foreign warships will only be able to sail along the Northern Sea Route after notifying Russian authorities.
– Defense News – Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s naval vessels is illegal, no matter whose version of events is true, according to three international law experts.
– Defense News – Russia’s brazen seizure of three Ukrainian navy ships on Sunday set off a firestorm of finger-pointing and appeals to international law on both sides. But the clash over the Kerch Strait and access to the Sea of Azov isn’t likely to become a long-running international spectacle like the ongoing maritime feud between the U.S. and China over China’s claims in the South China Sea.
– Washington Post – The Nov. 25 skirmish between Russian Border Guard and Ukrainian navy ships in the Kerch Strait has escalated tensions not just between the two countries, but also between Russia and NATO.
– BBC – Russia has fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels off the Crimean Peninsula in a major escalation of tensions between the two countries.
– War Zone – The weapon gives any surface ship with torpedo tubes, as well as submarines, a stand-off anti-submarine capability.
– CIMSEC – The loss of floating dry-dock PD-50 may have a more significant long-term impact on Russia’s ability to sustain its Northern Fleet. The ability of Russia to recover, repair, or even replace the dock assumes considerable importance because it is a maintenance asset of strategic import. Russia’s ability to overcome this setback is further complicated by European Union (EU) sanctions, where the legal and practical effects of the EU sanctions regime will strongly affect Russia’s ability to replace this key maritime asset.
– Breaking Defense – A Russian fighter plane gave a US surveillance plane an unexpectedly rough ride on Monday, part of an increase in tensions in the Black Sea.
– War Zone – Russia’s biggest dry dock has completely sunk and it’s debatable if it has anything that could fully replace it anytime in the foreseeable future.
– National Interest – A return to the days of “duck and cover” in U.S.-Russia relations reflects widespread ignorance of the inherent costs and extraordinary dangers of arms racing in the nuclear age.
– USNI News – U.S. and NATO ships are focused on conducting freedom of navigation operations in Europe to push back against a Russia that is increasingly harassing commercial shipping and introducing new anti-access weapons into the theater.
– USNI News – The head of naval forces in Europe warned that Russia is preparing an underwater battlespace in the Northern Atlantic and that U.S. naval presence is more important now than any time since the fall of the Soviet Union.
– National Interest – And the U.S. Navy is worried, and for good reason…
– CBC – Russian warships held drills in the Bering Sea, which separates Russia from Alaska, as part of Moscow’s biggest military manoeuvre since the fall of the Soviet Union.
– Defense News – The Russian military is deploying a flotilla of at least 10 ships to the Syrian coast.
– US Naval War College Review – Russian destabilization efforts aimed at the Baltic States are most likely to come from the Baltic Sea; be maritime, nonlethal, and nonnaval; and use political, diplomatic, informational, psychological, and economic tools, and perhaps paramilitary forces.
– War on the Rocks – Although Moscow is in no position to dominate the Baltic Sea, its efforts to turn the Black Sea into a mare nostrum are bearing fruit. Over the past several years, the Kremlin has mastered the Baltic feint: By engaging in aerial and maritime provocations in a region highly monitored by the West, Russia is able to entrench its position in the Black Sea without notice. While most U.S. strategists worry about the Suwalki Gap on the Polish-Lithuanian border as a potential Russian invasion route into Central Europe, it is Russia’s buildup in the Black Sea that should concern policymakers. By using the Black Sea as a springboard, Russia can project power beyond its immediate surroundings — into the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean — and strengthen its reemergence as a great power.
– War on the Rocks – Last summer, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia will continue to strengthen its forces around the Black Sea in order to “neutralize the security threat in the Black Sea region from NATO.”
– War Zone – The combat-capable “Orlan” could be as much an anti-access weapon as a tool for improving operational access to remote areas.
– National Interest – We have all the answers.
– Defense News – Russia’s next generation of multipurpose nuclear submarines, reportedly known as the Husky class, will be armed with hypersonic missiles, with the lead boat slated for launch in 2027