Russia moves major military assets closer to America’s doorstep
These aren’t some leftover Cold War machines, either.
Russia is not our friend, and, outside of a few months at the end of World War II, never really has been.
This is an important distinction to remember in 2019, as Russian interference in American democracy has been revealed – and to a startling degree. We are approaching the 2020 general election, and there are serious, well-founded fears that the Kremlin could intervene again.
Now, as if to drive this point home, the Russian war machine is moving into America’s backyard, parking a number of pieces of heavy equipment in the Caribbean.
One of Russia’s newest warships, the first-in-class Project 22350 frigate Admiral Gorshkov, is sailing in the Caribbean and may be headed toward Cuba. The ship’s presence in the region might incite the ire of the United States, especially if it also makes a visit to a port in Venezuela, where the U.S. government and Russia continue to support competing political factions. Wherever it sails, its impact might be somewhat muted by the fact that the rest of its flotilla consists of three support ships, including a heavy tug that often shadowed the Russian Navy’s accident-prone and now indefinitely out of commission aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.
The Admiral Gorshkov transited from the Eastern Pacific Ocean into the Caribbean via the Panama Canal on June 17, 2019. The Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet says that it expects the first-in-class Project 23120 multi-function logistics ship Elbrus, the medium ocean-going tanker Kama, and the heavy ocean-going tug Nikolay Chiker to all have crossed into the Caribbean by tomorrow, according to an official statement. There is no formal word yet on where the ships are headed.
The Gorshkov is no second-class vessel either…
The Admiral Gorshkov, which only entered service in July 2018, is one of the most advanced ships in the Russian Navy and a stop in Venezuela would be sure to turn heads, especially in the United States. Among its other features, the ship is one of the first to carry the Poliment-Redut air defense system, which consists of the Poliment phased array radar and the Redut surface-to-air missile system, a navalized derivative of the ground-based S-350. This system only completed state trials weeks before the frigate left on its worldwide cruise.
Tensions between Russia and the United States have been simmering for years, thanks to Moscow’s inexcusable attempts to usurp American elections, and their public antagonization of the US in matters pertaining to Iran and Venezuela.
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