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Multiple Russian military warships in the Mediterranean monitoring CSG21.

Image Credit: Dmitry Yefremov/ Getty Images

Tartus-based Russian warships are currently monitoring CSG21, the UK carrier strike group currently in the Mediterranean Sea. This comes days after the HMS Defender entered ‘Russian territory’ in the Black Sea prompting Russian jets to ward off the destroyer by dropping bombs and firing warning shots.

The Russian naval ships believed to be currently operating in the Mediterranean Sea are:

  • 1 × Admiral Makarov (Project 11356)
  • 1 x Vasiliy Bykov (Project 22160)
  • 1 x Buyan-M ( Project 21631)
  • 1 x Moskva (Project 1164 missile cruiser)
  • 1 x Admiral Essen (Project 11356)
  • 2 × Imp. Kilo (Project 636.3)

Last Friday, the Russian navy and air-force conducted several military drills in the Mediterranean which is the most likely explanation for the large number of warships.

A pair of MiG-31 fighter jets capable of carrying Kinzhal hypersonic missiles were deployed in the military drills and flew training missions to practice strikes on targets in the Mediterranean. In the military drills, two submarines, two long-range Tu-22M3 bombers among other warplanes and the huge fleet of ships mentioned earlier also participated.

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