Russia maintains a huge naval base in its Kaliningrad exclave. During a maneuver, warships came close to the German Baltic Sea coast. What we know about the Baltic Fleet. And what not.
Munich/Baltijsk – At that time, the report went under for information. It was midsummer in Germany on July 10, 2019, warm and muggy weather everywhere. In this sunny weather situation with no clouds in the sky, they were also easy to see: warships off the German Baltic Sea coast.
Baltic Fleet in Kaliningrad: Putin’s military base in the midst of NATO
Now that’s nothing unusual between Stralsund and Lübeck, after all the command of the German Navy has its headquarters in Rostock. But: The massive sea companions sailed under the Russian flag. That was reported at the time Kiel News (KN)the security policy blog eyes straight! and based on that Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) consistent. The KN even published photos of the maneuver, which is said to show, among other things, the guided missile cruiser “Marshall Ustinov” and the anti-submarine destroyer “Severomorsk” off the coast of the German island of Fehmarn.
It’s hard to imagine what kind of reactions and protests this message would have caused in times of the Ukraine conflict*. After all, the Baltic Sea area between Fehmarn, Denmark and Rostock is the deepest NATO area. The warships had long since passed the security-politically sensitive coast of Poland. the FAZ According to the report, it was the largest naval maneuver to date (“Ocean Shield” exercise) by the Russian armed forces in the Baltic Sea, with 69 ships and boats deployed and more than 10,600 soldiers. And: The Russian news agency TASS According to reports, the amphibious ships of the Baltic Fleet managed to land attack troops on rough terrain. Wherever that should have been.
Baltic Fleet in Kaliningrad: Vladimir Putin’s “demonstration of power” – concerns of NATO
The Baltic Fleet. It is the fortress of Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin* in the middle of Europe, stationed on the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which was once the East Prussian-German Königsberg. The transatlantic alliance NATO* looks to Kaliningrad with concern. Putin likes to demonstrate his military strength right here, between Poland and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. As the KN and the FAZ Unanimously report that the German Navy was completely surprised at the fact that entire Russian formations sailed past Rügen and Fehmarn to the Great Belt – and thus deep into NATO territory. A Danish Navy spokesman put the number of Russian warships at 19.
In times of the Russia-Ukraine war something like that would be unthinkable. However, there were repeated maneuvers by the Baltic Fleet in the Baltic Sea. In the spring of 2018, Latvia loudly criticized a naval maneuver involving ten Russian warships off its own coast world as a “show of power”. Sweden even warned of dangers to civilian shipping. There were repeated military provocations from the Russian side.
In 2015, so-called Iskander missiles were brought from Russia to Kaliningrad for military exercises. These can be equipped with conventional and nuclear warheads and have a range of 500 kilometers. You could use it to reach large parts of Polish territory. In the spring of 2018, Russia repeated the scenario. At the time, the Kremlin confirmed the stationing of the medium-range missiles.
In the video: Compact – The news about the Ukraine war and the invasion of Russia
Loud Frankfurter Rundschau (FR) Russia upgraded the Baltic Fleet again in May 2021. So did Moscow* two ultra-modern SU-30SM fighter-bombers were also sent, the marines received over 80 new BMB-3 infantry fighting vehicles. At the time, eight German and Polish NATO submarines and five allied Swedish submarines were allegedly opposed by only two Russian submarines.
However, Russia has announced that it will station an as yet unknown number of new diesel submarines of the Warschavjanka or Lada class in the Baltic Sea. The Moscow military expert Viktor Litovkin suspected to the FR six other Russian submarines.
- Compact: The Baltic Fleet of Russia in the Baltic Sea
- founded in 1696 by Tsar Peter I, then Russian Empire
- stationed in Baltiysk near Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg, around 1 million inhabitants)
- major military base in the Russian Empire (until 1917), in the Soviet Union (1991) and the Russian Federation (since 1991)
- lies between the NATO countries Poland (around 38 million inhabitants) and Lithuania (around 3 million inhabitants)
- military equipment: Apparently at least 1 destroyer (Nastoichivy), 2 frigates, several corvettes (small warships) and landing craft (including the Pomornik class), apparently Iskander-M medium-range missiles, at least 2 ultra-modern SU-30SM combat bombers, several dozen BMB-IFVs 3
Sources: Reports from the Frankfurter Rundschau, Deutsche Welle, Handelsblatt and Welt
The situation is already delicate in the Baltic States. In response to the Russian attack on Ukraine, NATO sent thousands of NATO soldiers to the Baltic States. 1,000 German Bundeswehr soldiers are said to be stationed in Lithuania alone – including heavy Leopard 2 tanks and at least six heavy Panzerhaubitzen2000. However, it is not known how many marines are stationed in Kaliningrad. However, it is known that they only held a publicly displayed military exercise with helicopters and armored personnel carriers on March 4th.
Kaliningrad: NATO closely monitors Russia’s Baltic Fleet
The ultimate military strength of the Baltic Fleet cannot be independently verified. In 2019, the number of Russian frigates was estimated at two, only the German Navy has twelve frigates. Including four highly modern ships of the so-called Baden-Württemberg class. Nevertheless, NATO is looking anxiously towards Kaliningrad these days. (pm) *Merkur.de and fr.de are offers from IPPEN.MEDIA
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