‘Tsirkon’ missiles: Putin marks new red lines to the West by approving a naval doctrine | International
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The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has marked this Sunday new red lines to the West in the Black, Baltic and Arctic seas with the approval of a new naval doctrine and the announcement that the Russian Navy will receive the new missiles in the coming months hypersonic cruiser Tsircon, which “have no analogues in the world” and which exceed up to nine times the speed of sound with a practically unlimited range. Putin already announced in 2018 a rearmament program with hypersonic weapons.
“We have openly marked the borders and areas of Russia’s national interests, both economic and strategic, which are vital,” he assured in a brief speech on the occasion of Army Day in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. “Primarily, it concerns our Arctic zone, the waters of the Black, Okhotsk and Bering seas, and the Baltic and Kuril Straits. […]. We will guarantee their defense firmly and by all means”, she stressed.
“The fleet successfully and honorably fulfills strategic missions on the borders of our country and anywhere in the ocean. […]. It is constantly perfected. The area in which the ship equipped with hypersonic missiles will serve Tsircon [la fragata Almirante Gorshkov] It will be determined depending on the interests in guaranteeing Russia’s security,” he stressed.
The new doctrine puts Moscow’s ambition to be a “great maritime power” in black on white and points out as the main threat to its security both “the strategic policy of the United States to dominate the world’s oceans” and the expansion of NATO every time closer to the borders with Russia. It also marks the Arctic Ocean as an area of particular importance. The United States has been accusing the Kremlin for years of trying to militarize that area.
The 55-page document will allow Moscow to expand its naval potential by speeding up the mobilization of resources by the Navy, which will include civilian ships and their crews, as well as the use of maritime infrastructure in times of war. Russia has about 40,000 kilometers of coastline.
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Putin did not mention the war in Ukraine during his brief speech, but the new doctrine calls for “a complete strengthening of Russia’s geopolitical position” in the Black and Azov seas. The Russian leader has also connected past and present by praising in St. Petersburg its 18th-century founder, Tsar Peter the Great, because he turned Russia into a great maritime power and increased its world status. “Greetings, comrades! I congratulate you on Navy Day!” Putin said aboard the boat, with which he sailed through the waters of the Gulf of Finland, accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
More than 40 ships, submarines and speedboats, 42 planes and more than 3,500 soldiers participated in Sunday’s naval parade in the former tsarist capital and on the island of Kronstadt, according to the Kremlin. Similar events are held in other ports, such as the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad. The act, which was followed by the signing ceremony of the new naval doctrine in the Peter and Paul fortress in Saint Petersburg, had a special symbolism because the Kremlin suffered its biggest setback in the war in Ukraine last April with the sinking of the flagship of its fleet in the Black Sea, the missile cruiser Moskva. Ukrainian authorities have not openly acknowledged this, but have suggested that they were responsible for the attack, with Western help. Since the beginning of the invasion, last February, the Russian fleet has played an active role in missile attacks on Ukrainian territory.
This same Sunday that Putin signed the new military doctrine, Russia has accused Ukraine of attacking with a drone the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, in Sevastopol, on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea that was annexed in 2014. At least six people They have been injured, explained Mijaíl Razvozháev, governor of Sevastopol, on his Telegram network channel. kyiv has immediately denied any involvement in the incident. The pro-Russian authorities already reported a day before that, for security reasons, the traditional naval parade would not be held in the Crimean port.
And in the south of Ukraine, in the city of Mikolaiv, the authorities speak of massive Russian bombardments at dawn, which the governor of the region, Vitali Kim, describes as “probably the most intense” in the five months of war. Two civilians, identified by Kim as Oleksiy Vadaturski, founder and owner of Nibulon, a major grain-producing and exporting company, and his wife, have been killed in the attacks.
Vadaturski, 74, had an estimated fortune of 440 million euros ($450 million) in 2020, the BBC quoted Forbes as saying. In 2021 he experienced the best year of exports in his history, according to the company’s website. “His contribution to the development of the agricultural and naval industry, to the development of the region, is incalculable,” the governor said through Telegram.
As reported by the Ukrainian media, a missile hit his house during the night and, in the opinion of the adviser to the office of the Ukrainian presidency Mikhailo Podoliak, “it was not an accident, but a well thought out and organized deliberate assassination.” The advisor stressed that Vadaturski was one of the largest grain producers in Ukraine and a “key person” in the Mikolaiv region.
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