Russian forces in the Mediterranean - Wk06/2022

Task Force Composition

As reported by OSINT at the morning of February 12



As reported by OSINT at the morning of February 12




Weekly Brief

Drastic changes have taken place in the composition of the Russian task force operating in the Mediterranean. The influx of a second surface action group centered on a Slava class cruiser  is causing a concentration of firepower that has not been seen since 2016. The task force is centered on the cruiser Marshal Ustinov and is escorted by Vice Admiral Kulakov and Admiral Tributs. This task force is steadily been heading east towards the eastern part of the Mediterranean where the Slava class cruiser Varyag is operating near the Syrian naval base of Tartus. Rumors that the Black Sea Fleet Slava class cruiser Moskva is also heading to the Mediterranean are being spread but no official confirmation has yet been received.
The six amphibious landing vessels have departed the Mediterranean and headed towards the Black Sea as was expected. Transit through the Sea of Marmara was observed to be faster then usual and all six vessels passed through the Bosporus during the late evenings, possibly to avoid detecting by ship spotters.
Frigate Admiral Grigorovich was last reported in the vicinity of the French carrier task force. It is unclear if the frigate is meeting up with the Marshal Ustinov group or if it is shadowing the French task force independently. 

Daily Events

February 05
Several vessels were visually observed leaving the port of Tartus, Syria. These vessels include the Baltic and Northern Fleet Ropucha class landing ships. Udaloy class destroyer Admiral Tributs was also seen leaving [1] [2].

February 06
Northern Fleet tanker Vyazma was spotted passing the Strait of Gibraltar and entering the Mediterranean at 14:30 local time [3]. The vessel was later reported in a position 24 nautical miles of Al Hociema, Morocco [4].

All six landing vessels of the Baltic and Northern Fleets were reported southeast of Lindos as they entered the Aegean Sea during the afternoon [5].

February 07
The three landing vessels of the Baltic Fleet were reported in the Aegean Sea during the afternoon on a northern track towards the Black Sea [6].

Slava class cruiser Marshal Ustinov of the Northern Fleet passed through the Strait of Gibraltar during the night. The AIS signal of the vessel was spotted twice as it made its passage [7] [8] [9]. It is unknown if Udaloy class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov and Gorshkov class frigate Admiral Kasatonov are  also transiting both all three vessels were previously reported sailing together.

Fleet tanker Vyazma was reported in the area 42 nautical miles of the coast of Beni Saf, Algeria, during the evening. The vessel reportedly is heading west [10].

Slava class cruiser Varyag and Udaloy class destroyer Admiral Tributs were visually observed near Tartus during the evening [11].

February 08
Baltic Fleet Ropucha class landing vessels Kaliningrad, Korolev and Minsk passed the Dardanelles and entered the Sea of Marmara [12].

Baltic Fleet Ropucha class landing vessels Korolev, Kaliningrad and Minsk passed the Bosporus around 2100 GMT. All three vessels entered the Black Sea [13].

February 09
Slava class cruiser Marshal Ustinov was reported in an area northeast of Annaba, Algiers. The vessel is heading east towards the Central Mediterranean at a speed of 11 knots [14].

Northern Fleet landing vessels Georgy Pobedonosets, Olenegorsky Gornyak and Pyotr Morgunov were visually observed passing through the Bosporus during the evening [15]. The passage took place around 20:45 local time [16].

The French Ministry of Defense released an audio fragment of the radio communication between the French frigate Forbin and the Russian frigate Admiral Grigorovich [17]. During this transmission, the Russian frigate is warned that an aircraft carrier is operation 10 nautical miles to the south and that the Russian frigate should maintain a ten nautical miles safety distance. This places the Admiral Gorshkov in the vicinity of NATO's tri carrier exercise in the Central Mediterranean.

February 11
Slava class cruiser Moskva and her escorting ships are reported southeast of Sicily in the Central Mediterranean [18]. Her escorting group is composed of Udaloy class destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov, Gorshkov class frigate Admiral Kasatonov and Kaliningradneft class tanker Vyazma.

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