A concentration of at least five Russian Navy warships, plus two auxiliaries, has formed in the North Sea.
If the Ukraine invasion teaches us anything, it's that the axillaries are just as worth watching as the pointy ships.
All 5 warships are Kalibr cruise missile capable.
While there may be many explanations for this, it will likely get NATO attention.
The most likely explanation at this stage is an unannounced exercise.
Unusually the group includes a frigate from the Black Sea Fleet, which is prevented from returning to its base in Crimea due to the war. Turkey has closed the Bosporus to warships. It is the Bosporus which is the only entry/exit between the Black Sea and ultimately, the Mediterranean Sea.
Russian Navy vessels identified in area:
- Black Sea Fleet Pr.11356 Admiral Grigorovich class frigate, Admiral Grigorovich (494)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.20380 Steregushchiy class corvette, Sbrazitelnyy (531)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.20380 Steregushchiy class corvette, Stoikiy (545)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.22800 Karakurt class corvette, Sovetsk (577)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.22800 Karakurt class corvette, Odintsovo (584)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.563 Goryn class tug, Yakov Grebelsky (MB-119)
- Northern Fleet Pr.REF-675 Kaliningrad Neft class oiler, Kama