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Russian warships heading for Caribbean exercises, US not notified, AP reports

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 6, 2024 6:57 PM 2 min read
Illustrative photo: The Russian warship "Samum" of the Russian Black Sea Fleet is located in front of the occupied port city of Sevastopol, Crimea. (Ulf Mauder/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Russian warships are being tracked on their way to the Caribbean, U.S. officials said on June 5, adding they had not been notified in advance by the Kremlin of the military activity.

Officials told the Associated Press (AP) that a "handful" of ships and support vessels were expected to take part in exercises and possibly make port calls in Venezuela and Cuba.

The move comes amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West. Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 5 said Moscow could supply advanced weapons to certain regions to enable strikes against "sensitive" Western targets as a response if Ukraine strikes Russia with Western arms.

Recently, the U.S. and Germany partially lifted a ban on Ukraine using certain weapons supplied by them to strike Russian territory.

The officials told AP the exercise was likely an attempt by Russia to demonstrate it could still project naval strength globally in the wake of Ukraine's multiple successful strikes on Moscow's Black Sea Fleet.

The Ukrainian Navy claimed in March to have destroyed one-third of the fleet since the start of the full-scale invasion.

In the latest blow to Russia, Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) carried out a naval strike in occupied Crimea overnight on June 6, destroying a Project 498 "Saturn" raiding tugboat, the agency said.

Spokesperson, Andrii Yusov, reported on the vessel's destruction earlier the same day on national television.

The boat was destroyed in Panske Lake, which lies on Crimea's western shores, only a few kilometers from the coastal town of Chornomorske.

Ukrainian naval drones operated by the military intelligence agency reportedly destroyed two other boats near Chornomorske overnight on May 30.

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