Russian Navy’s Presence Near Florida Intended to Intimidate

( – The U.S. Navy is closely monitoring the waters close to Florida after Russian watercraft – including a submarine – reportedly docked in Havana, Cuba.

A Russian naval flotilla visited the tiny communist country recently, apparently an effort by the Vladimir Putin-led government in the Kremlin to flex its strength amid growing tensions between the U.S. and Russia. The two countries have long been at odds, the animosity only exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its largely friendly relationships with countries like Cuba, North Korea and Iran. Tensions are at an all-time high after the White House announced that it would allow Ukraine to fire at select targets within Russia using armaments from the U.S.

The Russian naval detachment was comprised of the Admiral Gorshkov, a missile frigate; the Kazan, a nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine; and support vessels the Pashin and the Nikolai Chiker, which are an oil tanker and a savage tug, respectively. The group of vessels passed dangerously close to the Florida coast during their passage to Havana, as close as 30 miles away from Key Largo.

Sources have said that the flotilla has currently split up, with the submarine reportedly making its way to the Atlantic in the north, while the other vessels continuing down to South America, where they are expected to dock in Venezuela.

In response, the U.S. has mobilized several vessels – the USS Donald Cook, USS Truxtun, and USS Delbert D. Black – all of which are guided missile destroyers. Also deployed were a cutter from the Coast Guard, as well as a Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.

The visit of the Russian vessels was expected however, with officials saying that the Russian naval group were expected to hold military drills in the Caribbean.

Along with the U.S., Canada also sent its own naval presence to the area, deploying the HMCS Ville de Québec frigate, and sending another warship, the HMCS Margaret Brook, to dock in Havana at the same time as the Russian frigate and submarine.

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