Putin Moves to Resurrect the Russian Navy

When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early nineties, aside from the dismantling their nuclear arsenal, the mothballing of their naval fleet was the most important military development. But now flush with cash, the Russians have announced an ambitious program to build 5 or 6 new aircraft carriers to join their lone carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov.

Putin wants to refloat the Russian Navy.

Due to financial and technical issues, the Kuznetsov has only seen limited service since its last major refit in 1998. Presaging their Georgian incursion, the Kuznetsov led "training exercises" last December in the North Sea, forcing Norwegian oil company StatoilHydro to suspend Helicopter traffic to an oil platform in the vicinity.

This show of force came shortly after StatoilHydro signed an agreement with Russian state gas company Gazprom to develop a gas field in the Barents Sea. The Norwegians took this as a signal that Moscow is prepared to use military force to achieve their energy policy objectives.

The seismic shocks over Russia's invasion of Georgia are causing serious security reappraisals across the seven continents and seven seas, with the Ukrainians in the most imminent peril. The Russians and Ukrainians are on a collision course.  Russia wants its fleet to remain headquartered at the Black Sea port Sevastopol beyond May 2017, when its $93-million-a-year lease from Ukraine is set to expire.

Sevastopol is by far the most strategic base for the Russian Navy. Undoubtedly, they intend to use it as a homeport for their new carriers.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early nineties, aside from the dismantling their nuclear arsenal, the mothballing of their naval fleet was the most important military development. But now flush with cash, the Russians have announced an ambitious program to build 5 or 6 new aircraft carriers to join their lone carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov.

Putin wants to refloat the Russian Navy.

Due to financial and technical issues, the Kuznetsov has only seen limited service since its last major refit in 1998. Presaging their Georgian incursion, the Kuznetsov led "training exercises" last December in the North Sea, forcing Norwegian oil company StatoilHydro to suspend Helicopter traffic to an oil platform in the vicinity.

This show of force came shortly after StatoilHydro signed an agreement with Russian state gas company Gazprom to develop a gas field in the Barents Sea. The Norwegians took this as a signal that Moscow is prepared to use military force to achieve their energy policy objectives.

The seismic shocks over Russia's invasion of Georgia are causing serious security reappraisals across the seven continents and seven seas, with the Ukrainians in the most imminent peril. The Russians and Ukrainians are on a collision course.  Russia wants its fleet to remain headquartered at the Black Sea port Sevastopol beyond May 2017, when its $93-million-a-year lease from Ukraine is set to expire.

Sevastopol is by far the most strategic base for the Russian Navy. Undoubtedly, they intend to use it as a homeport for their new carriers.