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Source:  Joseph Trevithick

One of Russia’s newest warships, the first-in-class Project 22350 frigate Admiral Gorshkov, is sailing in the Caribbean and may be headed toward Cuba. The ship’s presence in the region might incite the ire of the United States, especially if it also makes a visit to a port in Venezuela, where the U.S. government and Russia continue to support competing political factions. Wherever it sails, its impact might be somewhat muted by the fact that the rest of its flotilla consists of three support ships, including a heavy tug that often shadowed the Russian Navy’s accident-prone and now indefinitely out of commission aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

The Admiral Gorshkov transited from the Eastern Pacific Ocean into the Caribbean via the Panama Canal on June 17, 2019. The Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet says that it expects the first-in-class Project 23120 multi-function logistics ship Elbrus, the medium ocean-going tanker Kama, and the heavy ocean-going tug Nikolay Chiker to all have crossed into the Caribbean by tomorrow, according to an official statement. There is no formal word yet on where the ships are headed.

The flotilla has already traveled some 26,000 miles since leaving the Northern Fleet’s main base in Severomorsk in Russia’s far north in February 2019. This included stops in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and Sri Lanka in the India Ocean before visiting China. There the Admiral Gorshkov took part in a major naval parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. The ships also stopped in Ecuador before sailing to the Panama Canal.

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