The Russian Navy ships that were spotted in or near the North Sea last week have sailed on to the Baltic Sea or have left the North Sea via the English Channel. There are about nine ships in total. Destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov is probably still active in the Norwegian Sea or Atlantic Ocean.
Yesterday it became known that the Russian Squadron from the Mediterranean, headed by the frigate Admiral Grigorovich (Grigorovichclass), tanker Kama and two corvettes, had sailed around Ireland to the north. The Irish navy and Air Force had spotted the ships in the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), or in international waters west of Ireland. The ships, Irish media reported yesterday, had now left the EEZ. The fact that the ships had chosen the ‘ocean route’ was already suspected due to the lack of reporting on passage through the channel and the North Sea and a short report via AIS of the position of the corresponding tanker, but it was not completely certain yet.
It was certain that the ships would go to the Baltic Sea. The Admiral Grigorovich had been away from home (Sevastopol in Crimea) since October 2021 and had to receive maintenance, so the message came from Russia that the Grigorovich would go to the Yantar Shipyard on the Baltic Sea.
However, the question was whether the ships received another assignment in the North Sea or Atlantic, possibly as part of the upcoming exercise Formidable Shield. Whether they carried out additional activities and why they sailed to the Baltic via Atlantic is unknown.
In addition to the four ships from the Mediterranean, two Karakurt-class corvettes entered the North Sea with a tug last week. The sailing movements were noticeable and for a while it was thought about forming a Russian Squadron, which, by the way, would still be inferior in number to the NATO ships during Formidable Shield.
But by now it is clear that there is no question of the formation of a squadron. The two Karakurt-class corvettes will enter the Baltic Sea again on Saturday, spotters saw at the Danish Great Belt Bridge. Today, The Admiral Grigorovich and the two Steregushchiy-class corvettes were also spotted by spotters entering the Baltic Sea.