Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet warships leave Kochi to carry out long-range missions


Ships from the Russian Pacific Fleet had made a planned call at the Kochi port on Thursday after setting out on a long voyage from Vladivostok on December 29 (Images courtesy: Indian Navy)

Ships from Russia's Pacific Fleet, including Missile Cruiser Varyag and large anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs accompanied with large sea tanker Boris Butoma took part in the joint Russian-Indian naval exercise PASSEX while leaving the Kochi port on Friday.

The ships had made a planned call at the Kochi port on Thursday after setting out on a long voyage from Vladivostok on December 29.

For the period of entry in the Indian waters, the Russian ships replenished water and fuel supplies and worked out the organisation of communications, information exchange and joint manoeuvring with the Indian Navy ships.

"After the exercise, a detachment of Pacific Fleet ships left the port of Cochin and set off to carry out long-range missions," said the Press Service of Russia's Eastern Military District on Friday.

On a goodwill visit to Kochi, the ships were received by senior naval authorities of the Indian Navy and with fanfare by the Indian Naval band.

According to the Indian Defence Ministry, Captain 1st Rank Anatoly Velichko, Commanding Officer (CO) of the detachment and also the Chief of Staff of the division of ships, along with his colleagues Captain 2nd Rank Roman Glushakov and Captain 2nd Rank Igor Tolbatov from Varyag and Admiral Tributs, also called on Rear Admiral Antony George, the Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command.

While passing the strategic Malacca Strait and entering the Indian Ocean, the fleet ships had also participated in a series of planned exercises in the Japan, East China and South China seas.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, it is planned that during the sailing period, the ships will visit the ports of a number of states, including Seychelles.

"The call will be timed to coincide with the 105th anniversary of the visit by the armoured cruiser Varyag of the Russian fleet to the port of Victoria of the Seychelles," says the Russian Defence Ministry.

During the campaign, planned exercises, including international ones, will be held as part of a detachment of warships in various areas.

Russian Navy

As reported by earlier, Moscow's renewed push to enhance defence partnerships with like-minded partners in the region, defines Kremlin's fresh approach to the fast-changing geopolitical situation in the Indo-Pacific.

While inaugurating the Moscow Conference on International Security in June 2021, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had acknowledged Kremlin's military cooperation with the countries of the region expanding significantly.

"Recently, we have qualitatively strengthened our interaction with strategic partners - China, India, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Mongolia. The topics of dialogue with Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei have been significantly expanded. We intend to continue and build on our joint work," Shoigu had commented

It was followed by the first-ever joint naval exercise of the Russian Navy and the naval forces of the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The three-day exercise 'ARNEX' (ASEAN-Russia Naval exercise) began on December 1 in the North Sumatra region of Indonesia and included participation of the large anti-submarine warship Admiral Panteleev.

Combat training exercises significantly increased in 2021 at the Russian Pacific Fleet, which for the fifth year in a row, took the first place among the Russian Navy fleets in 2021.

"The number of tasks performed at sea by surface ships and submarines has been increased, which made it possible to increase the surfacing of ships by more than 1.5 times and the number of combat exercises performed by 1.3 times compared to the 2020 academic year," stated Russian military's Department of Information Support of the Primorsky Region (Vladivostok) on December 31.

For the first time, an operational exercise of the Pacific Fleet forces was conducted in the central part of the Pacific Ocean in which more than 20 warships, submarines and vessels of the Pacific Fleet, aircraft and helicopters of naval aviation were involved.

Pacific sailors had also participated in the joint Russian-Chinese naval exercise held in the Sea of Japan from October 14 to 17.

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