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Vladimir Putin's armed fleet heads for Dover as Russia squares up to Royal Navy vessels

Time:2018-03-13 08:29Turbochargers information Click:

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Britain has deployed a flotilla of Royal Navy destroyers to 'man-mark' a fleet of Russian warships lurking off the Scottish coast in a move mocked as an 'overreaction' by Putin's supporters.

Russian military experts have branded the Royal Navy as 'weak' and claimed the UK is 'scared' of Putin's ships - which are expected to pass within just one mile of England.

The Russian aircraft carrier fleet, led by the 1,000ft-long Admiral Kuznetzov, is on its way towards the English Channel as it prepares to join Bashar al-Assad's bombing campaign in Syria, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.

HMS Duncan - the world's most advanced air-defence destroyer – sailed from Portsmouth last night to join frigate HMS Richmond, which has intercepted the Kuznetsov task group of eight ships.

As well as the Royal Navy, the Royal Norwegian Navy, Finnish Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy have vessels surrounding the North Sea. 

Despite this response, one Moscow defence expert claimed Vladimir Putin is ready to 'seize control' of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic as he boasted about Russia's sea power while branding the Royal Navy 'tiny'.  

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Russian pilots  conducted flight operations from the deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier, pictured yesterday belching smoke, with the nuclear-powered Peter the Great guided missile cruiser shadowing in the background 

Russian pilots  conducted flight operations from the deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier, pictured yesterday belching smoke, with the nuclear-powered Peter the Great guided missile cruiser shadowing in the background 

Russian pilots  conducted flight operations from the deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier, pictured yesterday belching smoke, with the nuclear-powered Peter the Great guided missile cruiser shadowing in the background 

Royal Navy's HMS Duncan (centre) is seen here observing a Russian Kirov Class Battle cruiser (left) and Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

Royal Navy's HMS Duncan (centre) is seen here observing a Russian Kirov Class Battle cruiser (left) and Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

Royal Navy's HMS Duncan (centre) is seen here observing a Russian Kirov Class Battle cruiser (left) and Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

Vladimir Putin's armed fleet heads for Dover as Russia squares up to Royal Navy vessels

Vladimir Putin's armed fleet heads for Dover as Russia squares up to Royal Navy vessels

The HMS Richmond has reported the Russian fleet is heading south towards the Dover strait while several NATO vessels are being deployed to keep the flotilla under surveillance. Meanwhile Vladimir Putin has recalled two corvettes from the Mediterranean to divide the Royal Navy's response to his aircraft carrier provocatively sailing down the British coastline 

As well as the Royal Navy, the Royal Norwegian Navy, Finnish Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy have vessels surrounding the North Sea

As well as the Royal Navy, the Royal Norwegian Navy, Finnish Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy have vessels surrounding the North Sea

As well as the Royal Navy, the Royal Norwegian Navy, Finnish Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy have vessels surrounding the North Sea

Frants Klintsevich, first deputy of Russian senate's Defence and Security Committee, confirmed the eight-strong flotilla was armed and ready for combat.

'We understand that such ships are armed, and that they did not just go for a walk with a walking stick,' he said. 

'The fact that today the military ships, including a first-class vessel, go forward - it's part of combat training tasks.' 

He added: 'The Admiral Kuznetsov and Pyotr Velikiy are able to solve any task anywhere on the planet's waters.' 

The fleet has completed training its pilots for bombing missions while it has been tracked by the Royal Navy's HMS Richmond and several NATO vessels. 

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Broadcasters have also brazenly claimed that the presence of the Russian fleet has 'scared' the Royal Navy.

A report on TV Zvezda, run by the Vladimir Putin's Defence Ministry, boasted: 'NATO got scared by Russian ships moving towards Syria.' 

Vladimir Mukhin, who writes for Nezavisimaya Gazeta, headlined his column: 'Admiral Kuznetsov scared the English'. 

Putin's admirals are keen to ramp up the pressure on Britain's warships by calling in extra assets from the Mediterranean in a mission dubbed 'Operation Sea Fist' by the Russian media. 

A MOD spokesman said: 'It is pretty unambiguous that they have set a course to pass through the Dover Strait.'  

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