Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Russian ships in the Mediterranean

""The ships are not capable of deploying helicopters or other air assets, leaving the ships completely without air cover in a hostile environment. And even if one overlooks their extreme vulnerability, there's the simple matter that the "large landing ships" actually cannot hold that many people. While they could, in an emergency, hold around 1,000 civilians each, the four ships now in the Mediterranean would be able to carry only a very small fraction of the estimated 30,000 Russian citizens in Syria. And that is not to mention whether those needing to be evacuated could actually get to the port—a very big if considering how dangerous travel in Syria is these days. If the Russians are going to stage an evacuation in Syria, it is going to happen via air, not by sea. No matter how many times the media triy to argue otherwise, the Russian naval deployments in the Mediterranean are not an attempt to get more involved in Syria but are, rather, a way of showing that "Russia is back" and that, after a series of humiliating setbacks during the 1990s, its navy is once again capable of maintaining a viable presence on the international stage."" (thanks Amir)