September 14th, 19:30
Surprisingly, there is still an opinion that "our fleet is securely attached to its shores" ( ref. 1 ). To be convinced of the opposite, it is enough to look at the map of the naval presence of the Russian Federation in 2017 ( link 2 ) (unfortunately, due to the high complexity of materials of this kind, data for 2018 and 2019 were not published, but this does not mean that the topic will not be continued). At the same time, the map clearly demonstrates the priorities of the main command of the Navy - these are the Mediterranean Sea and the waters of the four oceans washing the coast of Eurasia (North-Western Europe, the Northern Sea Route, the Asia-Pacific region, the northern part of the Indian Ocean with the Red Sea) and ,to a lesser extent, Africa. At the same time, the Atlantic Ocean as such and all of America remain behind the scenes.
Anyone who closely monitors the training and combat activities of the Russian Navy may argue that this is not so, and the Atlantic is not forgotten at all . Indeed, not later than last summer (in the period 13-29.06), the SF detachment led by "Admiral Gorshkov", after entering Ecuador, followed the Panama Canal to the Caribbean Sea and further to Havana. That's right, but, in fact, it was just a transit , a short episode of a global event - a voyage around the world predicted (or initiated) by the author of the blog ( link 3 ).
Apart from the SRZK and the GUGI ships, the last purposeful transatlantic crossing was made by the TFR "Yaroslav the Wise" about four years ago (26.10-17.11.2016 Havana, Trinidad and Tobago). Three years before that, a more representative action took place - 08/03/2013 the GRKR "Moskva" and the BOD "Vice-Admiral Kulakov" entered the capital of Cuba, then, already alone, "Moscow" visited Nicaragua (passing through a channel to the Pacific Ocean) and Venezuela ... Against the background of annual trips to the NWM, the North Sea, along the NSR and in the APR, this looks very modest. Taking into account the abruptly increased activity of the NATO Navy and Air Force in the waters and over the waters of all seas without exception,
adjacent to the territory of Russia (including the Barents, East Siberian and even Okhotsk), it is probably time to think about an adequate symmetric response, namely, to demonstrate on a regular basis a commitment to free navigation ( demonstrate freedom of navigation - link 4 ) in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. There are opportunities for this right now. Moscow, which recently passed the VTG, is preparing for the Caucasus-2020 exercise ( link 5 ), and Kulakov is operating in the SPM ( link 6 ). It would be nice if, at the end of the exercises, which will be held on September 21-26, the Navy General Committee formed a tactical group and sent it with love from Russia to the US East Coast.■