The Minsk, probably never designed for months of continuous operation, seems to have coped, along with the rest of the class, very well with operating virtually without stop between the Russian ports on the Black Sea and Syria.
The Alexander Shabalin looked as deep in the sea as any we have seen going through the Bosphorus so she is probably fully loaded with stuff. Good introduction to the real world! Just hope the Bay of Biscay was kind to them, its only a small ship.
Looks like the Daily Mail got this wrong. The number 110 seemed familiar so I checked on TurkishNavy.net and quess what, both 127 Minsk and 110 Alexander Shabalin are already on the Syrian Express.
It is clearly 110 in their photo and since she passed southbound through the Bosphorus on 30/8 she could probably not be southbound in the North Sea 10 days later.
It looks like 127 in the other photo and Minsk passed southbound through the Bosphorus on the 12/8 so could perhaps have gone to the Baltic or Northern Fleet and back south in the North for the 9/9 but there was nothing in the papers about her passing through the Channel.
Maybe they just got them the wrong way round. If they did, what was so important for one of these ships to do this huge round trip for that could not have gone on a plane? Especially if 127 is so loaded northbound. They are both Baltic Fleet ships.