Russian Warships Steam For Caribbean As Ukraine Tensions Go Global

By Tyler Durden

In a show of force perhaps prompted by President Biden’s authorization of Ukrainian strikes inside Russia using US weapons, a group of Russian warships is en route to the Caribbean, a senior US official has told McClatchy and the Miami Herald. White House officials alerted members of Congress to the Russian move on Wednesday.

The deployment signals Russia’s capacity to operate globally while still fully engaged its third year of war in Ukraine. “This is about Russia showing they are still capable of some level of naval power projection,” the official said. “We should expect more of this activity going forward.” In March, Ukraine claimed it had either sunk or disabled a full third of Russia’s ships in the Black Sea.

CBS News reports that long-range Russian bombers will rendezvous with the ships for combined naval and air maneuvers. Such exercises are not without precedent: Russia conducted similar combined-arms Caribbean maneuvers in 2019, and had a streak of sending ships into the Western Hemisphere at least annually from 2013 to 2020. Following the summer exercises, Russia is expected to engage in a worldwide naval exercise this fall, sources tell CBS.

The Pentagon is tracking a “handful” of ships and support craft that are expected to reach Caribbean waters in the upcoming weeks. US analysts speculate that the flotilla will make port calls in both Cuba and Venezuela. Cuba’s likely relishes the opportunity to host the Russian warships: Last year’s docking of a US nuclear submarine at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base ruffled feathers in Havana, with the Cuban government calling it a “provocative escalation.”

“Clearly, [the Russians] are unhappy — needless to say — with our support for Ukraine and support for our NATO allies,” the official said. Last week, the Biden administration quietly gave Ukraine the green light to use US weapons to strike targets inside Russia. That marked a major policy reversal, as such strikes had previously been barred as too escalatory.

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Ukraine has apparently wasted little time in exercising its new freedom, as images circulated on social media that appeared to show burning S-300 and S-400 mobile surface-to-air missile systems inside Russian territory:

On Wednesday, Russian President Putin said he was considering some kind of retaliation-in-kind:

If they consider it possible to deliver such weapons to the combat zone to launch strikes on our territory and create problems for us, why don’t we have the right to supply weapons of the same type to some regions of the world where they can be used to launch strikes on sensitive facilities of the countries that do it to Russia?…We will think about it.”

Expect America’s warmongers to shriek at Russia’s upcoming Caribbean exercises — despite the fact that US military forces routinely buzz by the territorial waters and airspace of Russia, China and many other countries around the world.

Source: ZeroHedge

Image credit: Norwegian Royal Air Force

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