So instead of Soviet nostalgia, perhaps we should be talking about what kind of SSKs will be taken most seriously in Ankara, Athens and Rome, operating from Tartous and Benghazi.
I don't think Soviet nostalgia comes in to this.... the Soviets never had a global fleet... they had some ships they could send on a long trip abroad to show the flag, but they couldn't really send a task force to the South Atlantic and sit them off the Falklands Islands for a couple of months and support operations there.
Of course having said that... why would they... why waste resources for that ability, then or now?
Well now that the west is doing its best to push Russia and to a lessor extent China into either following their rule, which I think you will agree is not acceptable to either... unlike the spineless has beens in the EU, the Russians and Chinese have no reason to be grateful to the US for anything and don't see any reason to do as they are told... made easier by the Trump attempt at carrot and stick... but without the carrot... fucking idiot...
Russia is almost a land locked country, and while trade is increasing with China, it needs new trade partners that it can actually trust and deal with on equal terms, and those sort of partners don't exist in the west either because they have no interest in trade agreements where Russia might profit and grow and develop, or the US will see them trading with Russia and Russia benefiting from the trade and trying to put a stop to it and try to replace Russia with its own products to make a profit itself... case in point, Russian gas to europe.
Russia needs to expand its horizons past the bitter twisted America loving neighbours it has on its borders and look elsewhere for partners... the key is they don't have to be rich... trading with poor countries isn't as stupid as it sounds because as you trade you develop ties and they develop too... you can both become more wealthy with fair trade... you can become obscenely rich if you rob them blind like the west does... you don't think they have a better life style because they are smarter or morally better do you?
It is because they steal resources from the weak... offer the weak a much better deal... China has been doing it for a while and their clients in Africa appreciate the trade and want more... and there are things Russia can supply that China cannot.
Also there is a huge market south of the US of A that the US will fight tooth and nail for... which as we have seen in the last few years shows their teeth and claws and makes everyone realise the Hollywood image of America is just an image.
I don't see them building up carrier groups to invade or attack, but they will need them to defend allies from western retaliation for not going with western companies... it is playing out right now in Venezuela for goodness sake... right now Russia can only support Maduro with words... if only they had a carrier and some major ships and cargo ships with some food surplus aid they could provide that could turn up off the Venezuelan coast about now... and perhaps get some expert help on their electricity grid...
I realise having a record playing in the background... Wagner isn't it?... is a step they are taking and they like the polite approach, but sometimes the US needs to be told to pull their head in... south and central america should start calling themselves something else so the US of A doesn't keep thinking it means it belongs to them.
Yasens seem to be coming along nicely though; fast construction now with many laid down in parallel. They can always order more.
If the problem was lack of available funds right now then the lease is a good solution...