War Zone – According to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, four heavily laden Russian amphibious warships recently sailed by the country’s Home Islands and were heading west. The idea here is that they may be headed to Europe to bolster Russia’s struggling invasion operation in Ukraine. The Japan MoD released an image of one of the ships showing it packed with military vehicles on its deck.
USNI News – Russian ships are shelling targets in the suburbs of Odesa as naval activity ticks up in the Black Sea.
USNI News – Japanese officials are raising concerns over a ten-ship Russian naval group that transited from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan via the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido on Thursday.
USNI News – Russian forces may be approaching Odesa from land instead of sea, a defense official told reporters Friday.
Naval News – Russia has raised tensions further by placing its nuclear forces on higher alert, termed “special regime of combat duty”. We take a closer look at one of its most controversial weapons. Among a myriad of new and impressive ‘super weapons’, Poseidon stands out.
Naval News – The “Helt,” an Estonian-owned general cargo ship, is reported to have sunk after colliding with a sea mine off the coast of Odessa.
The Mirror – A Russian naval wargame was planned for the point where two key transatlantic cables are just two miles apart, a former First Sea Lord revealed today.
(Thanks to Alain)
Naval News – The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is now in its fourth day and is still raging. Because of the “fog of war”, it is difficult to see the big picture. While most people’s attention is focused on the battle in the cities, it is worth shedding light on what has occurred in the Black Sea thus far.
Naval News – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence just reported that two commercial vessels were hit by Russian fire off the port of Odessa in Southern Ukraine. Panama flagged bulk carrier NAMURA QUEEN (IMO: 9841299) was reportedly struck by a missile while Moldova flagged bunker tanker MILLENNIUM SPIRIT was hit by at least one missile as well. Ukraine dispatched its coast guard to conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations.
USNI News – Russia launched an amphibious assault on Ukraine, bringing in thousands of naval personnel ashore.
USNI News – Two Russian guided-missile cruisers from Russia’s North and Pacific fleets met off the coast of Syria as part of a 16-ship Russian Navy formation, according to satellite photos taken on Thursday.
USNI News – The Russian Navy acted largely in a supporting role as Russian ground and air assault forces entered Ukraine early Thursday morning in what a senior U.S. defense official called an “initial phase” of the assault against Ukraine.
Naval News – The naval arm of Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine is in place. Landing ships, major warships, submarines and aircraft effectively dominate the Black Sea. And the visible preparations extend into the Mediterrean. It appears overwhelming.
USNI News – An upcoming Russian naval exercise has Ukraine worried, as the United States predicts a Russian invasion of the country could come any day. The Russian exercise, which comes during continued tension between Russian and Ukraine, will block parts of the Black Sea, the Sea of Azoz and the Kerch Strait, leading the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs to put out a statement in protest.
CIMSEC – At the time of publishing on 10 February the Baltic and Northern Fleet amphibious forces have arrived in the Black Sea. However, these forces would only augment existing Black Sea Fleet capability and so should not be used as an indicator of Russian readiness for offensive action. On the other hand, these amphibious forces are unlikely to be a feint; the Russians have demonstrated the capability to land battalion-scale forces in the region, and such a landing fits into their theory and practice.
National Interest – Russia-watchers have been quick to invoke the Cuban Missile Crisis precedent, which implies that Russia would station nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles of some type in the Caribbean. But history may not repeat itself.
War Zone – The Russian government has reportedly issued notices warning mariners and aviators to avoid significant portions of the northern end of the Black Sea, as well as the adjacent Sea of Azov, next week ostensibly due to upcoming live-fire naval exercises. The obvious concern is that this could amount to a de facto blockade of Ukraine’s southern coastlines, which in turn might be part of preparations for new large-scale Russian military intervention into that country.
Naval News – Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine is moving into a new phase. Emerging from under a veil of ‘drills’, 6 landing ships and a submarine are now sailing into the Black Sea.
USNI News – A group of three Russian warships capable of landing tanks and troops ashore is now in the Black Sea, as the Russian Navy begins to mass ships in the Mediterranean.
War Zone – Six Russian Navy amphibious warfare ships that departed the Baltic Sea region in January and entered the Mediterranean Sea last week are now in Syria. The vessels are resupplying at Russia’s naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartus, ostensibly ahead of a large maritime exercise that is set to kick off in the Mediterranean soon. However, there have been persistent discussions about whether these ships might be moving into a place where they could relatively quickly redeploy into the Black Sea to support a potential new Russian military incursion into Ukraine, and they are certainly better positioned for such a contingency now.
Russian Navy – Russia has “been very thoughtful about how they’ve been ramping up their level of activity” in the Black Sea, said Bryan Clark, a fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Navy Lookout – There is growing concern that another Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent. Here we look at the naval dimension of the Russian military build-up and the implications for NATO navies
National Interest – James Holmes writes that it is far from unthinkable that Russia might try to stage a token deployment in Latin America.
War Zone – The arrival of these warships comes ahead of major naval maneuvers and concerns that they could take part in operations against Ukraine.
USNI News – The Russian Navy is kicking off several simultaneous exercises, with ships from the Baltic and Black seas and its Northern Fleet sortieing from their homeports across Europe.