The Cold War is not over.
Russia flexed its muscles in America’s backyard yesterday as it sent one of its largest warships to join military exercises in the Caribbean. The nuclear-powered flagship Peter the Great set off for Venezuela with the submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and two support vessels in the first Russian naval mission in Latin America since the end of the Cold War.
“The St Andrew flag, the flag of the Russian Navy, is confidently returning to the world oceans,” Igor Dygalo, a spokesman for the Russian Navy, said. He declined to comment on Russian newspaper reports that nuclear submarines were also part of the expedition.
The voyage to join the Venezuelan Navy for manoeuvres came only days after Russian strategic nuclear bombers made their first visit to the country. Hugo Chávez, the President, said then that the arrival of the strike force was a warning to the US. The vehemently anti-American Venezuelan leader is due to visit Dmitri Medvedev, the Russian President, in Moscow this week as part of a tour that includes visits to Cuba and China.
Peter the Great is armed with 20 nuclear cruise missiles and up to 500 surface-to-air missiles, making it one of the most formidable warships in the world. The Kremlin has courted Venezuela and Cuba as tensions with the West soared over the proposed US missile shield in Eastern Europe and the Russian invasion of Georgia last month. Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister, said recently that Russia should “restore its position in Cuba” – the nation where deployment of Soviet nuclear missiles in 1962 brought Russia and the United States to the brink of nuclear war.
This is Russia’s hissy fit over our aid to Georgia and the invitation of former Soviet colonies into NATO.
Russia and Putin’s strutting are a fucking joke. Russia’s Navy is still massively outclassed by the United States. Their best battle ship couldn’t compare to one of our pontoon boats. Their land forces are at least a half a century behind the U.S. Army.
But, we should still address their insolence with a hint: have the USS McCAMPBELL (DDG 85), with its armament of 1 x 32 cell, 1 x 64 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems, 96 x RIM-66 SM-2, BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-Asroc missiles, 1 x 5/62 in (127/62 mm), 2 x 25 mm, 4 x 12.7 mm guns, and 2 x Mk 46 triple torpedo tubes, sail close enough to skim the paint on the Cossack’s floating tub.
That’ll scare the living borscht out of them.