The Russian cargo ship the Alaed has left Russian waters again on an attempt to deliver refurbished Syrian helicopters back to the Syrian military. The last shipping attempt failed after British officials, under US pressure, forced the revocation of their insurance.
The Alaed had been a Curucao-flagged ship, and British officials made a big deal of having given serious consideration to launching a naval attack on the ship and capturing it to prevent the return of the helicopters. It was at this point the insurance was pulled and the ship slunk back to Murmansk.
This time, things are different. The ship has been reflagged as a Russian ship and while still traveling as a private vessel it is trailing not far behind a flotilla of Russian naval ships headed to the same area on a “training” operation.
Being a Russian-flagged ship removes the insurance obstacle, and the close proximity of the flotilla presumably will prevent Britain from giving serious consideration to attacking it when it gets close to British waters.