Russia Adds Two More Warships To Mediterranean Task Force Near Syria

Tyler Durden's picture

A few days when reporting that the Russian Pacific fleet had crossed the Suez canal for the first time in decades in order to form a Mediterranean task force parked in Cyprus for obvious symbolic reasons (in close proximity to Syria and the Israel-parked Kearsarge), some observed that while the submarine support was adequate, the actual warship fleet designated to support any potential escalation in Syria would be largely insufficient. Perhaps the Russian Navy heard these complaints, and several hours ago RIA reported that two extra warships from the Russian Black Sea fleet had joined the Mediterranean task force, citing Capt. First Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachyov, has said. None of these recent deployment should come as a surprise: in March Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean was needed to defend Russia’s interests in the region. Read Syria, Cyrpus (where the task force will be on anchor indefinitely), and, of course, any and all western offensive involving Iran. And slowly but surely said task force is nearing completion.

"During a planned rotation, large landing ships Nikolai Filchenkov and Azov from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet have started performing their tasks in the Mediterranean,” Trukhachyov said.

The two ships in question:

the Azov:

and the Filchenkov:

The two ships will be added to a fleet that is becoming increasingly imposing in both numbers and capability: the task force currently includes vessels from the Pacific, Northern, Baltic and Black Sea fleets: the Admiral Panteleyev and Severomorsk destroyers, the Yaroslav Mudry frigate, the Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi amphibious warfare ships, the Fotiy Krylov, Altai and SB-921 salvage/rescue tugs, the PM-138 repair ship, the Pechenga, Lena and Dubna tankers. The task force may be enlarged to include nuclear submarines.

Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, head of the parliamentary defense committee, previously told RIA Novosti that the Mediterranean task force should be comprised of 10 warships and support vessels as part of several tactical groups tasked with attack, antisubmarine warfare and minesweeping.

In other words, check to you America, we are ready.

And speaking of checking, just a month earlier it was the US that was deploying its own naval support in the area with the LHD-3 Kearsarge crossing the Suez canal, and now on anchor in Israel. Here is a 60 second timelapse video of what it looks like when a US naval ship cross the Suez Canal, direction escalation.

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markmotive's picture

WW3 prelude?

Divide, distract and control. It's worked for millenia.

Days of Destruction: Chris Hedges, Morris Berman, Dmitry Orlov,
AldousHuxley's picture

Syria is the last domino before getting rid of Iran.

Escalations in the mediterranean is matched by Chinese escalation in North Korea.


funny how Russia and USA have no threat on the motherland. wars are fought in someone else's backyard.

smart empires.

ZeroAffect's picture

The proverbial ‘brick wall’ is looming, no doubt about that. Time is running out and something big is coming. I agree, partly with Savage that it will ‘nazi-like’.
Are we beyond the Point of No Return? An uncommon astrological event will occur in 2014-2015 known as a Tetrad, or Blood Moon. According to NASA: “When four consecutive lunar eclipses are all TOTAL eclipses, the group is known as a Tetrad. The following Tetrads occur during this century"

1. Tetrad: 2003 – 2004
 2. Tetrad: 2014 – 2015
 3. Tetrad: 2032 – 2033
 4. Tetrad: 2043 – 2044
 5. Tetrad: 2050 – 2051
 6. Tetrad: 2061 – 2062
 7. Tetrad: 2072 – 2073
 8. Tetrad: 2090 – 2091
Tetrads are not that common. In other words, to have 8 Tetrads occur in the centuries 2001 to 2100 is a rarity. Only 13 Tetrads have occurred in the last 500 years. The last 3 occurred in the years 1949-1950, and 1967-1968, and 2003-2004.

What hapened in the ME during the years 2003-2004?

Precious's picture

These surface ships mean relatively little.  

The chess game is being played with nuclear armed submarines ... wherever they are.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Always must have store of vodka. Gold, Silver, Vodka, enough to survive apocalypso in style.

(Well, Boris at least is have vodka.)

Parrotile's picture

Soyuz Victan, or Nemiroff??

"Straight", or do you prefer the flavoured Vodkas?

Or do you prefer the "Bulk" containers they sell in Kiev (Boryspil) airport - 5 litre bottles with a pump dispenser (for US $ 25 last time I was there!)

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Got thermonuclear protection?

Got lead based Sun tan lotion?

thisandthat's picture

Boron is what was used in Chernobil

Stuck on Zero's picture

Russian warships look really mean. 


Lore's picture

Have we not progressed beyond astrology?

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Russia is have some of world largest telescope. Soon is launch largest space-radio telescope, make Hubble look like Obama puny arm compare to Putin.

prains's picture

are you sure it's not a giant dildo for the impending global reaming 

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is speak of figure. Space Radio Telescope is not as large dildo, but is use satellite. Is look more like IUD.

thisandthat's picture

Funny, because Hubble is look more like Fleshlight.

thisandthat's picture

Apparently, we don't even know what Astrology was actually about, any more...

There is though an established correlation between solar maxes and wars - and we're right in the middle of one (although a weak one at that).

drdolittle's picture

Do you do palm reading and horoscopes as well?

geologyguy's picture

"It would be well for your government to consider that having your ships and ours, your aircraft and ours, in such proximity... is inherently DANGEROUS. Wars have begun that way, Mr. Ambassador."  -Hunt for Red October  [love that movie]

fonzannoon's picture

"look's like we didn't get dressed up for nothing"

 Braveheart's Red Head buddy.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

"Best defense is good offense"

Mel, cook on Alice

prains's picture


where are they hiding the USS Bitchezlov

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is not familiar of "Bitchezlov", but Russia Navy is operate many secret naval base. If GoogleEarth to Severodvinsk or Sevmorput, maybe see Bitchezlov put in harbor. Also, check to see Mariel Bay, Cuba. How are you to know of this ship? Are you spy?

prains's picture

As the inventor of the slapichino I've boarded the USS Bitchezlov many times in the past but age is catching up to both

disabledvet's picture

this one is three dimensional in nature: "never let 'em see you sweat."

Osmium's picture

"This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."

sgorem's picture

aw shit, quit bein so fucking optimistic! just btfd:)

Joe A's picture

In 1962 the world came close. At one point a Russian sub was surrounded by US ships. The sub had it torpedo tubes open and flooded, ready to fire. It was due to the wisdom of the sub driver that WWIII did not start because he could have launched his torpedos without order from Moscow. He closed his tubes and moved away.

otto skorzeny's picture

With the development of more advanced missiles and pinpoint targeting GPS these big surface ships (of any country) look like so much scrap-metal-in-waiting.

Jack Burton's picture

Yes Otto. When I was in the Navy, we in the Submarine branch always said there were only two types of ships, "submarines and targets".

World War two quickly saw Air Power become the dominant force at sea. The post war era saw the rise of missiles for anti shipping work. The kind deployed today are so fast and deadly that they along with Submarines make heavy Surface Warships floating death traps.

The Russians have staked much of their modern military capability on missile technology. Their surface to air, surface to surface and anti shipping missiles are no joke. Being inferior to the US in the Air, Russia decided long ago to invest in a missile force second to none.

Russia's ships are as vulnerable as ours. I do not know how well the US Navy's anti missle systems are, we had primitve ones when I was in the Navy. It remains to be seen. But Israel had a Frigate hit by a Hezbollah missile in the Lebanon war, a primitive one at that,

To me, in a real shooting war, the large surface ships is not going to last long against air power and nuclear and conventional submarines.

In exercises, I can't tell you how many times we were able to break through our Carrier's ASW screen and sink the Carrier. The USN does not like to talk about it, but I can tell you that many times it was a piece of cake. We just slip under a temperature inversion, the surface sonar bounces off the layer and we slip in to the target. The rest is easy.

thisandthat's picture

About subs, I was never in the navy and even I know of plenty similar cases: South Africans vs NATO/SA; Brazilian and Portuguese vs Spanish; Swedish vs US; Portuguese vs British, US or NATO... and then there's the case of the Chinese showing up right in the middle of US fleets...

Overfed's picture

Artificial reefs, bitchez!

i8emallup's picture

silly Wasteful Move By Russia. Their Entire Navy Would Probably Equal 1 Carrier Battle Group.  i Think Us Has 11. Unless They Finally Intend To Escalate To Nuclear War. 

More Likely They'll Just Create a Big Nuisance. tThen Fade To Flaccid Irrelevance They So Richly Deserve.


lolmao500's picture

Russia wouldn't fight alone... China also is in need of a big distraction.

Harbanger's picture

That's when we realize that there are NO weapons systems of exclusively U.S. made parts. Most of the components are outsourced parts made in China. Supwize!

AldousHuxley's picture

Imagine US and Russia declare war on each other and then the battleships shut down due to shitty quality Chinese made parts and they just end up crashing on shore.

Harbanger's picture

We laugh at chinese made parts but the chinese are smarter than you think.  A computer chip manufactured in China that is used in US military equipment was found to contain a secret “backdoor” that the manufacturer can use to record information or disable the chip.  Search it.

thisandthat's picture

That's nothing; Israelis have been doing that for decades...

theliberalliberal's picture

make sure you keep "safe search" on when googling "back door"

Rustysilver's picture


There's nothing like relying on some else to help you in a fight.

I think British and France are ready to send some troops to help Poland with the Nazis.

Look a history, any period of history and you will see what I mean.

kchrisc's picture

Yeah but the bankrupt paper-tiger US will need to borrow the funds from Russia and China to fight any war.  hujel

jonjon831983's picture

Military + Police get cut last.

chubbyjjfong's picture

Nice use of capitals in front of every word with the addition of the lowercase 'i'.  Nice touch.

jonjon831983's picture

On the last Stratfor update ZH posted there was only 1 carrier group in the AO.  A few months ago there were 2-3.  I figure the 2 were pulled out in anticipation of "carrier" killer missiles, of which delivery to Syria has now been announced, and it is easier to say there is no connection.

Solarman's picture

Why expoe your navy to hostile fire when you have the entire Russian navy as sitting ducks to hundreds of antiship missles, and 600-700 attack aircraft.


This is Putin after Cialis.  How does Russia survive economically if they attack the U.S.  The Bosphorus Strait is closed, and the Jutland strait is closed  If Russia wants to make a statement, they simply need to overtly move in, protect the western highlands where most Shia Syrians live, and embargo every other road coming in to the country with their Air Force or stand off surface to surface missles.


That is what I would do.  Then possession being 9/10 of the law what can we, Turkey or Israel do?  Nothing.

noless's picture

It's posturing, after decades of conventional disarmament even putting their hand out to be grabbed would signal massive allegiance reallocation. Russia isn't looking for a new cold war, they're looking to cite the usa as the aggressor.

"political capital"

Feel free to strike stronger opponent we will lay you prone and leave you to the dogs.

Sandmann's picture

Not really. Russians play a longer game than the Americans. Russia will be the power in Iraq, Syria and Iran and likely Saudi Arabia as the US fades in the region. Once the EU disintegrates Russia will be the main player together with Germany and probably have Iceland in a new friendship. The USA will be focused on restraining China as it rattles India and Japan

Urban Redneck's picture

The US capital ships are also sitting ducks if this moves from posturing and support to direct confrontation.  The larger threat (ex. subs - whose location we simply don't know) is from aircraft at 40,000 feet, and which only take a few hours to arrive on scene- The Russian strategic bomber fleet also has Newton's second law of motion (~ 5000mph)  on its side if it launches.