Russia Is Deploying The Largest Naval Force Since The Cold War For Syria: NATO Diplomat

Tyler Durden's picture

Just moments ago we reported that in the latest escalation involving Syria, the Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov was now sailing past Norway on its way to Syria, where it is expected to arrive in just under 2 weeks.  As part of the carrier naval group, Russia also deployed an escort of seven other Russian ships, which we dubbed the "most powerful Russian naval task force to sail in northern Europe since 2014" according to Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reports.

It turns out it it was even bigger, because according to a NATO diplomat cited by Reuters, Russia is "deploying all of the Northern fleet and much of the Baltic fleet in the largest surface deployment since the end of the Cold War," the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

"This is not a friendly port call. In two weeks, we will see a crescendo of air attacks on Aleppo as part of Russia's strategy to declare victory there," the diplomat said.

An intensified air campaign in eastern Aleppo, where 275,000 people are trapped, would further worsen ties between Moscow and the West, according to the diplomat who added that "With this assault, it should be enough to allow a Russian exit strategy if Moscow believes Assad is now stable enough to survive."

As we reported earlier, photos of the vessels have been released by the Norwegian military. A Norwegian newspaper quoted the head of the Norwegian military intelligence service saying the ships involved "will probably play a role in the deciding battle for Aleppo".was more than this and as Reuters reported second ago, citing a NATO diplomat, Russia is in fact deploying the largest naval force since end of Cold War to reinforce its Syria campaign.  From Reuters:While there is little we can add to this that we did not just say in the previous post, we want to remind readers what the east Meditteranean looked like in the summer of 2013, when the first escalation between Russia and the US converted the sea off the Syrian coastline into a parking lot for warships.

In two weeks, it is about to get much busier.

* * *

For those who missed it, here are the highlights from our previous post on the composition of the Russian flotilla:

According to a report by the Norwegian military which released pictures taken by surveillance aircraft, we know that the Kuznetsov accompanied by a fleet of Russian warships, is currently on its way to Syria and is sailing in international waters off the coast of Norway near Trondheim. Photos of the vessels, which include the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and the Pyotr Velikiy battle cruiser, were taken near Andoya island, in northern Norway on Monday.

As reported by Reuters , a spokesman for the Norwegian military intelligence service said the country's armed forces frequently releases such footage, while newspaper VG quoted General Morten Haga Lunde, head of the service, as saying the eight ships involved "will probably play a role in the deciding battle for Aleppo". According to Russia's TASS state news agency, the aircraft carrier would carry 15 Su-33 and MIG-29K jet fighters and over 10 Ka-52K, Ka-27 and ??-31 helicopters.

The naval group which includes the carrier and its escort of seven other Russian ships, is the most powerful Russian naval task force to sail in northern Europe since 2014, Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reports. The carrier can carry more than 50 aircraft and its weapons systems include Granit anti-ship cruise missiles.

Next in the flotilla, in terms of firepower, is the Russian nuclear-powered battle cruiser Peter the Great.

The Kirov-class cruiser Peter the Great escorts the carrier

As BBC adds, a Norwegian Lockheed P-3 Orion reconnaissance plane, monitoring the force, photographed the ships. MiG-29 Fulcrum jets and combat helicopters were visible on the carrier's deck.

The other Russian surface ships in the group are: two large anti-submarine warships - the Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral Kulakov - and four support vessels.

Several of the task force ships are shown in this Norwegian photo

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Occams_Chainsaw's picture

Don't worry....the Hitlery will save us all from doom.  /sarc


knukles's picture

I'm tellin' y'all that the whole shebang about the end starting in the ME by engagement of Gog & Megog, ain't seemin' so bloody far off than may conspiracy theories of the last several decades.
Just sayin'

nyse's picture

Who doesnt love a good an old school naval battle (from afar)?!

knukles's picture

What could be finer than sitting on the beach in Cypress, watching the sound and light show out in the Mediterranean in the early evening twilight?

Shit just got serious for the Administration.

Now it gets worrisome.  Obama wants a legacy.  Ain't gonna be race relations, openness, love and diversity, ain't gonna be health care and he did once win a Nobel Prize for Peace ...
He needs a legacy.

He needs a legacy.



Bush Baby's picture

Soooooooo  , I guess the plan is if Trump wins, Obama starts a war and demands a 3rd term?

yovatti's picture
yovatti (not verified) Bush Baby Oct 19, 2016 1:46 PM

Wow, I can't believe how far Russia has fallen. They now have to commit their entire fleet just to influence some pissant civil war in the third world.




floosy's picture

Somehow I don't think they are comitting their whole fleet for ISIS's benifit.

y3maxx's picture

imo...That North Sea Russian Armada is a diversion..

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Hillary gonna go all "wild cunt" on um.

y3maxx's picture

-- Whoever controls the Straight of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal, controls the Mediteranian and all the ships who sail in it.

nibiru's picture

Note that the whole Arab Spring made sure it is the US (+allies) secure the North Africa and its riches. Now the only part of land this is not the case is Syria and plan to get the pipeline to Europe with non-US&allies oil. 


This is big because while the price of oil is very low it is a bleeding concert. When the price will jump ones who secure the Mediterenian basin will reap the profits. The US cannot fight on so many fronts right now - IRAN has been smoothed out, China is the biggest threat but before Beijing is going to be challenged Russia must fall or be satisfied/paid. Well what might have worked before, now seems to be failing with Sino-Russian alliance.

A L I E N's picture

"Sure we will honor your no fly zone if you honor our no sail zone" lol


SWRichmond's picture

MiG-29 Fulcrum jets and combat helicopters were visible on the carrier's deck.

What about the F-18's we have painted to look like theirs?  Do they count?

Imagine the false-flag Schadenfreude that would be associated with US warplanes painted like Russians doing an attack on Syrian civilians, and the Russians shooting it down and getting their hands on it and the pilot?  Holy effing Christ.

Susan Rice is fucking stupid and arrogant enough to try it.  Take my word for it.

Even the generals couldn't sit by any longer.

MalteseFalcon's picture

I hope the Navy has planned on saving some forces for deployment to New York and Washington D.C. for the second week of November.

ufos8mycow's picture


Your link lost ALL credibility when they began quoting "Hollywood's Kim Kardashian"

Loftie's picture
Loftie (not verified) ufos8mycow Oct 19, 2016 7:21 PM

The truth about the conflict with Russia NO ONE dares to reveal.

philipat's picture

Hey Loftie, previously known as mofio then santafe then Aristotle of Greece then Gargoyle then bleu then oops then most recenty lance-a-lot and soon to be known as toro.

You are a serial spammer and a serial pain in the ass. Might I politely suggest that you go fuck yourself? And get a life.

PS. You might have noticed that my attempt to expose you for what you are is always the same. That’s because your Spam is always the same (Using fake links to your BS site which has no connection to your comments, which are deliberately dramatic to encourage people to click on the fake link) so it seems only fair that my exposure of your crap should also always be the same. An eye for an eye.


UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Those quotes are valuable intel. The represent the readiness status of the FSA and their main kk's ass or shoot-up the hood and themselves.

any_mouse's picture

Military needs combat ribbons for advancement. They want war. They need war.

Why else would chairborne drone pilots located on the ground in the Nevada desert, far from the fields of fire, be eligible for Valor awards.

Why else would women want to be in combat roles.

The business of the military is war fighting. Those who directly contribute to that end are rewarded more than support troops.

It's how they become made men by making one's bones in combat.

Coincidentally, combat is how the MIC corps make the most money.

The FED to MIC money road is paved with blood.

bh2's picture

I recall lots of bronze stars being handed out to air controllers during Viet Nam. With general inflation since that time, I assume Air Medals will now be awarded to any drone pilots who don't drift off to sleep in boredom when their mission tools are still aloft. :)

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"drone pilots located on the ground in the Nevada desert, far from the fields of fire, be eligible for Valor awards."

Is that true?

Jim in MN's picture

Arab Spring wiped out Egypt, now being 'managed' by US and Israeli militaries via Egyptian military.

Krungle's picture

Except that Russian troops are in Egypt conducting drills with the Egyptian military in the last week and China is busy setting up shop in Djibouti. Yet another front to worry about...wouldn't it be easier to get on the OBOR train and like enlist Musk to build a bullet train or hover crafts or pneumatic tubes across the Pacific? Slightly less insane.

BarkingCat's picture

I think you got the story wrong.

Tge Egyptian military is who screwed up the Obama and Hillary destruction of Egypt.

It was their first go at that plan.

Libya and Syria went much better for them.

BarkingCat's picture

I think you got the story wrong.

Tge Egyptian military is who screwed up the Obama and Hillary destruction of Egypt.

It was their first go at that plan.

Libya and Syria went much better for them.

knukles's picture

Oh, I say, jolly good we've still influence over the area, eh what?
Shout at em we will.  Stand up right top of Gib we will! 
Bloody wogs.

Dugald's picture


Yes damnit, don't they understand.....We will, er, er, we will send a Gunboat blast their eyes..!


Calmyourself's picture

The Russians can build some supremely deadly weapons.  This is a descritpio nof Grant antiship missiles launched in  salvos, they network to be deadlier..

"The missile, when fired in a swarm (group of 4–8) has a unique guidance mode. One of the weapons climbs to a higher altitude and designates targets while the others attack. The missile responsible for target designation climbs in short pop-ups, so as to be harder to intercept. The missiles are linked by data connections, forming a network. If the designating missile is destroyed the next missile will rise to assume its purpose. Missiles are able to differentiate targets, detect groups and prioritize targets automatically using information gathered during flight and types of ships and battle formations pre-programmed in an onboard computer. They will attack targets in order of priority, highest to lowest: after destroying the first target, any remaining missiles will attack the next prioritized target.[6][7] Such description received some doubts.[8] The missile has a means of countering the attacking anti-missiles. Also, onboard computer has data to counter the enemy's electronic warfare and tactics of evasion from the fire of air defense.[9]"


TheObsoleteMan's picture

No, you forgot the Bosphorus Straight. There are three choke points for access into the Med, and NATO controls them all.

SWRichmond's picture

So NATO controls the flow of North African refugees into Europe?  Sweet!  How's that working out for them?  Their esrtwhile ally Turkey is about to dump a few million more across the border.

Russia will never tolerate closing Bosphorus.  Just sayin'...

Motasaurus's picture

Of course NATO controls the flow of NA and ME refugees into Europe. You think the destruction of Europe is an accident?

cowdiddly's picture

Yea that's what they thought about Crimea in relation to the Black Sea too. Took spetsnatz forces about, oh I would say 8 hours.

Slickest military operation I think I have ever seen or read about and hardly fired a shot. That sucker was gone before a diplomats lip could even quiver. They're still whining about that one.

tbd108's picture

With Erdogan still smarting from the CIA inspired attempted coup, I recommend that you not bet on Turkey going to war against the Russians (who saved his life and have since signed multiple agreements that tie them to Russia at the hip).

Maghreb's picture

Apparently the Russian's have been allowed to refuel in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. The Spanish and Morrocans have been interacting more with the Russians lately having forgotten the old Cold War "better dead than red" ethos that both millitary backed monarchies clung to. Considering the shit that goes on round there and how broke the Russian navy are I wouldn't be surprised if the whole fleet was stuffed full of Hashish.

In the end I imagine it was just a favour. The truth is NATO have  the straights on lock. With the Syrian Tarsus and Crimean Sevastapol naval bases both threatened things could get very interesting for the Russian navy. Up until the coup in Turkey I was of the mind that the Russian navy was going to be sealed off in the Black Sea. 

researchfix's picture

Yeah, a diversion to the missing Russian subs on the chart...


fbazzrea's picture

it's not a diversion. it's proof that if the stupid-ass warmongers want to start a war with Russia, Vlad will end it.

JohninMK's picture

Just read the thread, think it needs bit more background. Forgive me inserting it late at the start but it will help understanding the rest.

This move by the Russians has multi functions:

- the Kuznetzov is due for a 2-3 year refurbishment, this is probably the last chance to send her out on a proper trip. She has been to Syria many times before

- the Russians seem to be designing a new carrier and some operational experience would be useful input, both for the ship, its systems and aircraft

- there is zero operational requirement for these ships in the Med. It would have been cheaper and much more operationally efficient just to send more Su-34s to the existing Russian airbase in Syria. Take-off weights are restricted on the carrier so less fuel/munitions per aircraft

- if Russia was expecting WW3 they would have stayed at home, not vulnerable on the high seas

- the Russian Navy is probably fed up that the RuAF is getting all the glory (along with career enhancing opportunities) in Syria

- the Russian fleet has had a lot of modernisation recently so this is an ideal chance to test it all together. This is primarily a Northern Fleet job but at least a couple of ships are joining in from the Baltic Fleet on the way plus Black Sea ships at Gib and Pacific Fleet members when they are there.

- this is not a rapid move to Syria. Mini exercises are planned all along the route, the first one today/tomorrow with a major air/sea link-up off Norway. This is unique training from the smallest ship up to the powers in the MoD in Moscow

- if all goes to plan it will be a good PR exercise. perhaps why they are sailing so slowly, to reduce the chance of embarrassing breakdowns

- rather than being a threat to anyone on the way to Syria, NATO as well as the Russians will benefit. This is a giant training/learning exercise for both sides. NATO aircraft, especially the USN P8A, and ships are flocking to intercept.

The group of ships is well thought out and is probably based on the expectation that the battle for Aleppo will be done soon. This is how they are expected to operate which is not how the USN carrier groups that have been or are based in the Gulf work

- the heart of the fleet, the carrier Kuznetzov, will most likely be taking over air ops near the coastline so the current RuAF Hmeim airbase crowd is freed up to handle Homs/Idlib situation and assists with Deir ez Zorr and maybe even covers siege lifting should they pursue that angle. Plus targetting any ISIS runaways to Syria from Mosul. This will not be high intensity ops US style, She will probably be carrying a large load of near end of life munitions from the Northern Fleet's ammo dumps.

- the cruiser, Peter the Great, is there to provide AA cover in addition to Atalant class already present.

- the existing fleet already there plus the new destroyers (two more are on the way from the Pacific Fleet) and frigates are there to provide a decent exclusion zone for the next 4-5 months.

- the corvettes will be slinging Kalbre cruise missiles into Syria as required.

- no-one knows how many and what type RuN subs will be there, but expect a few.

All will be keeping an eye on random US/NATO/Isreali subs.

The fleet is expected to disperse in February.

I am praying that they pass Dover in daylight on a clear day. They will only be 5 or so miles from the cliffs. A once in an awful long time photo opportunity. If the Russian MoD has any sense they will take and publish some HQ long lens photos taken from a helicopter with the white cliffs in the background.

Dugald's picture


An interesting read JohninMK, thank you, I liked the bit about ageing ammo, very probable, sounds like you have walked the wall.

JohninMK's picture

Thank you but no, my father and brother served. I just sold them stuff.

The ammo comment is based on the high likelihood, plus comments from those in the know, that the southern munitions dumps in Russia have been stripped of old stock and now newer, smarter stuff is in play more frequently. The climatic conditions most of the time in Syria seem to have suited the Russians latest computer controlled bomb aiming systems very well, allowing dumb bombs to be placed sufficiently accurately to do the job, at a fraction of the smart munitions cost.

The Russians have also virtually stopped their highly effective low level (under 15,000ft) combat support missions attacking ISIS etc, which would bring the war to a much more rapid close, due to the risk of MANPADs coming in from 'outside sources'. For some unknown reason the US/Coalition when attacking ISIS in Syria or Iraq does not suffer from the same problem and the Apaches are now going into Mosul. But don't expect the same angst in the MSN as when Aleppo is attacked in a similar way.

valjoux7750's picture

Should you be lucky enough to get pictures be sure to share....

JohninMK's picture

Can't put them here but this thread is pretty up to date and if I get any that's where they will go.

f.thomas's picture

I'd love to be in Dover too.

I thought the same when

I saw the route.

weburke's picture

the jews are furious they lost russia, they want america to war and crush russia so they can take over again.

East Indian's picture

some very high ranking military officers of US / Israel seem to have been besieged in Aleppo; may be Russia tries to catch them alive and display...


and a NATO sortie will probably kill them to obliterate the evidence. That is why US is itching to bomb and Russia is keen on stopping American bombing.

JohninMK's picture

I am not so sure about that. They should have been removed when the seige was broken for a few weeks at the end of August.

Do you have a link on this?

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) yovatti Oct 19, 2016 2:43 PM

Those anti-submarine vessels will come in handy to sink those damn ISIS subs.