In the news –
Russia is being encouraged by some of its own to target the British military for helping Ukraine carry out a successful attack in the Black Sea last week.
Dozens of Russian service members were declared missing or wounded after the 370-foot Ropucha-class Novocherkassk large landing ship was hit on December 26 in Crimea by Ukrainian cruise missiles. Moscow admitted damage to the ship, which carried a crew of up to 87 service members.
The missiles used by Ukraine were reportedly provided by the U.K. Ministry of Defense, which also aided Kyiv with satellite reconnaissance and target guidance.
It has led to some, including Russian political scientist Yuri Baranchik, to encourage Moscow to attack the British warship HMS Diamond.
“This is a blow from Britain/the United States and a desire to interrupt the positive background from the capture of Marinka, as well as the recent successes of the Russian Armed Forces at the front,” Barinchik wrote on Telegram, describing the attack as a “training exercise” for a potential future strike on Russia’s naval components in the Northern Fleet.
“This latest destruction of Putin’s navy demonstrates that those who believe there’s a stalemate in the Ukraine war are wrong,” U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said following the attack, according to Sky News. “They haven’t noticed that over the past four months, 20 percent of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been destroyed.”
A spokesperson for the British Royal Navy declined to comment to Newsweek, which also reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Mark Cancian told Newsweek via email that Baranchik’s remarks are indicative of routine Russian behavior, where Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t make direct threats but will have surrogates do his bidding.
“Clearly, the pressure that Ukraine is exerting on Crimea is hurting Russia,” Cancian said. “The logic here is indirect: The U.K. supplied Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine, which Ukraine used to attack the ship in Crimea. Russia cannot attack U.K. forces in Europe without risking a conflict with NATO. However, it could have surrogates attack UK forces elsewhere.”
Barinchik desires a response through the Iran-aligned Houthis, to sink the British ship that is currently participating in the 12-nation “Guardian of Prosperity” operation led by the U.S.
The operation was launched in response to a series of Houthi-led drone, missile and naval attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemeni. Since 2014, the Houthis have been at war with the Western-recognized Yemeni government, and since 2015 with a regional Western-leaning coalition led by Saudi Arabia.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called the Red Sea a “critical” waterway that will be defended. Arab countries like Egypt have hesitated to partake in the operation, while countries like the Netherlands and Norway have offered personnel but no ships.
Gas prices have increased due to escalating anti-Western tensions emanating from the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza.
While the West supplies Kyiv, we can provide the Houthis with appropriate anti-ship missiles, with relevant specialists who are not formally in military service in the Russian Armed Forces said Baranchik. “In principle, we can raise the stakes beyond the limits with mandatory preliminary information support.”
“First, a message from a Russian official blamed Britain for the sinking of the Novocherkassk large landing ship. Then, take into the air two MiG-31K [missiles], preferably a MiG-31I, or two Tu-22M2/TU-22M2M—you need to look at the flight range of the carriers—and hit the British destroyer Diamond with two ‘daggers.’
“Do it yourself. And officially declare that Russia’s patience with the antics of the West is over. London will run to complain to the USA.”
Cancian said present threats regarding naval vessels in the Red Sea are merely “symbolic” due to it requiring weeks or even months for missiles to be sent from Russia to Yemen.
“The shipment would probably need to go through the Iranians, who have an existing logistics pipeline to the Houthis,” he said.
Source: The Truthseeker/Newsweek – Putin Under Pressure to Attack British Military