Russian navy flexes muscles in Mediterranean, East China Sea – analysis
Russia is conducting naval exercises in two locations in the Mediterranean and the East China Sea.
Russia’s navy is engaging in two important missions, 8,000 kilometers apart. Russia and China are conducting a joint naval exercise called Naval Interaction-2022 in the East China Sea from Dec. 21-27, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday while in the Mediterranean, two Russian Steregushchiy-class corvettes, the Stoikiy and Soobrazitelny, docked at the port of Alexandria. These warships, launched in 2010 and 2012 respectively, are modern Russian ships in comparison to the older Slava-class cruisers Varyag and Marshal Ustinov that had been in the Mediterranean. Russia’s navy has taken a beating this year. The Slava-class Moskva was sunk in the Black Sea in April. The Ustinov and Varyag spent time this year off the port of Tartus in Syria where Russia has a naval base. The Ustinov returned to its station with the Russian Northern Fleet in September.
Russia has naval bases in Severomorsk, in Murmansk, for its Northern Fleet, and it has bases at Kaspiysk, St. Petersburg, Sevastopol and Vladivostok. Kaspiysk is a base intended for the Caspian Sea. The base at Sevastopol is in Crimea which Russia occupied in 2014, but it is a historic base used by the Russians and prior to the current government, the Soviet navy. Beginning on December 10, the corvettes Stoikiy and Soobrazitelny reportedly arrived near the port of Alexandria for what Russians called a friendly visit in which the sailors met the Russian Ambassador G.E Borisenko. According to a social media post about their visit, this continues the tradition of friendship between Russian and Egyptian armed forces that goes back 70 years.