Hysteria Surrounds Russian Ships’ Planned Pass Through English Channel

Britain Sees Russia as 'Posturing' by Sailing Through

The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and its accompanying ships are planning to pass through the English Channel on their way to the Syrian coast, sparking no small level of hysteria because it comes amid US and British talk about military action against Syria and by extension against Russia.

So while the Russian trip isn’t unprecedented or anything, British officials are seeing it as “a show of force” as well as “posturing,” and are noting that Russian ships heading for Syria usually go through the Bosphorus instead of around the English Channel.

Which obviously isn’t possible in this case, because the Russian carrier is up in Murmansk, in the far north, and not in the Black Sea where it could pass through the Bosphorus into the Mediterranean. The ship will be going north of Scandanavia, and then down past Britain.

The Admiral Kuznetsov is going to be parked off the Syrian coast for 4-5 months, and will likely be used as an additional staging area from which Russian warplanes can launch airstrikes against the Nusra Front and ISIS. They do have air bases inside Syria, but they are still small and limited, with expansions planned.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.