Russian fleet en route to the Mediterranean
THE Norwegian military has taken photographs of a Russian fleet, including its flagship aircraft carrier, off the Norwegian coast as it headed for the eastern Mediterranean.
Based in Severomorsk in the Barents Sea in the Arctic, the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and seven other vessels were photographed on October 17 in international waters off Norway, Major Elisabeth Eikeland, spokesperson of the National Joint Headquarters in the Norwegian army, said.
“We have been informed that they are en route to the Mediterranean,” Ms Eikeland said.
“It’s not every day that so many ships sail together off Norway.”
The carrier was shadowed by a Norwegian navy frigate, with a vessel from another NATO member primed to take over escort duties afterward.
Russia announced on October 15 that the Soviet-era Admiral Kuznetsov, its only aircraft carrier, was to reinforce Moscow’s military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, where its forces are conducting a bombing campaign in Syria.
The Admiral Kuznetsov is travelling with the Pyotr Veliky battlecruiser, the Vice Admiral Kulakov destroyer and large anti-submarine ships, the defence ministry in Moscow said.
On October 18, Moscow announced an immediate halt to raids by Russian and Syrian air forces on Aleppo as a gesture of “goodwill”.
The Kremlin said this would enable the evacuation of civilians from rebelheld areas of the city, which has been bombed intensively during the past month. –
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov passes the Norwegian island of Andoya on October 17 en route to the Mediterranean.