Russia’s President Vladimir Putin drew new red lines west in the Black Sea, Baltic Sea and Arctic Sea this Sunday with the endorsement of a new naval doctrine and announcing that the Russian Navy will receive the new missiles in the coming months in Tsirkon -Hypersonic cruise ships that “have no analogues in the world” and exceed up to nine times the speed of sound with virtually unlimited range. In 2018, Putin announced an armament program with hypersonic weapons.
“We have openly marked the borders and areas of Russia’s national interests, both economic and strategic, which are of crucial importance,” he assured in a brief speech on the occasion of Army Day in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. “First of all, it affects our Arctic zone, the waters of the Black, Okhotsk and Bering Seas, as well as the Baltic Sea and Kuril Straits. […]. We will guarantee their defense firmly and by all means,” he stressed.
“The fleet successfully and honorably carries out strategic missions on the borders of our country and across the ocean. […]. It is constantly being perfected. The area where the ship equipped with Tsirkon hypersonic missiles will serve [la fragata Almirante Gorshkov] It will be determined depending on the interests in ensuring Russia’s security,” he stressed.
The new doctrine spells out Moscow’s ambition to become a “major sea power” and points to both “the strategic policy of the United States to dominate the world’s oceans” and the continued expansion of NATO as the main threat to its security on the border with Russia. It also marks the Arctic Ocean as an area of special importance. For years, the United States has accused the Kremlin of militarizing the area.
The 55-page document will allow Moscow to expand its naval capabilities by accelerating the naval mobilization of resources, which will include civilian ships and their crews, as well as wartime use of maritime infrastructure. Russia has around 40,000 kilometers of coastline.
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Subscribe toVladimir Putin with his Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and the Chief of the Navy Nikolai Yevmenov (in white) this Sunday in Saint Petersburg Mikhail Klimentyev (AP)
Putin made no mention of the war in Ukraine in his brief speech, but the new doctrine calls for “a full strengthening of Russia’s geopolitical position” in the Black and Azov Seas. The Russian leader has also linked past and present, praising its 18th-century founder, Tsar Peter the Great, in Saint Petersburg for making Russia a great sea power and enhancing its world standing. “Greetings, comrades! I congratulate you on Navy Day!” said Putin on board the boat in which he was sailing the waters of the Gulf of Finland, accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
According to the Kremlin, more than 40 ships, submarines and speedboats, 42 aircraft and more than 3,500 soldiers took part in the naval parade on Sunday in the former capital of the Tsar and on the island of Kronstadt. Similar events take place in other ports, such as the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad. The act, which was followed by the signing ceremony of the new naval doctrine in the Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg, had a special symbolism because the Kremlin suffered its biggest setback in the war in Ukraine last April with the sinking of the flagship suffered his fleet in the Black Sea, the Moskva missile cruiser. The Ukrainian authorities have not openly admitted this, but have claimed that they were responsible for the attack with Western help. Since the invasion began last February, the Russian fleet has played an active role in missile attacks on Ukrainian territory.
On the same Sunday that Putin signed the new military doctrine, Russia accused Ukraine of using a drone to attack the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol on Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, annexed in 2014. At least six people have been injured, Sevastopol governor Mijaíl Razvozháev said on his Telegram network channel. Kyiv immediately denied any involvement in the incident. The pro-Russian authorities had announced the day before that the traditional naval parade would not take place in the Crimean port for security reasons.
And in southern Ukraine, in the city of Mikolayiv, authorities are speaking of massive Russian dawn bombings that the region’s governor Vitali Kim described as “probably the most intense” in the five months of the war. Two civilians identified by Kim as Oleksiy Vadaturski, founder and owner of Nibulon, a major grain producing and exporting company, and his wife were killed in the attacks.
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