The Royal Navy has monitored nine Russian vessels around the UK in recent weeks.

It is important to understand that the passage of foreign warships near (not through) UK sovereign waters is routine and that the Russian vessels were at all times sailing legally in international waters.


According to the Royal Navy in a statement:

“Every move made by the Russians – a surfaced submarine, destroyer, corvette, patrol ship and their supporting tugs and supply ships – was watched closely by eight RN ships from the English Channel and the Celtic Sea to waters close to the west coast of Scotland in a concerted operation over the last two weeks.

Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland watched the movements of Udaloy-class destroyer, the Vice-Admiral Kulakov, as she sailed North West of the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. Patrol ship HMS Severn was on duty in the English Channel and Dover Strait, where she shadowed a surfaced Kilo-class submarine, the Stary Oskol, the corvette Boikiy, patrol ship Vasiliy Bykov and support ships.

Severn was also on patrol as the Vice-Admiral Kulakov sailed through the Channel. For some of the operation, the Russian ships sheltered from bad weather within the Baie de Seine, a bay in northern France, where Severn was joined by allied French Navy ships and aircraft. HMS Lancaster joined Severn in this operation, closely tracking Steregushchiy-class corvette Boikiy in the Channel and using her Wildcat helicopter to gather intelligence using the aircraft’s powerful array of sensors.”

First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, said:

“This is why the Royal Navy is at sea every day, protecting the UK and our interests. Even with the pressures of Covid, we remain at short notice to respond to threats both in home waters and around the world. Despite the increase in Russian activity, both on the surface and underwater, we are always ready to respond.”

Commander Philip Harper, Commanding Officer of HMS Severn, said:

“In very challenging conditions with rough weather, Severn and several other British and allied ships, have spent 20 days ensuring that Russian transiting warships remain under our watchful eyes.”

The Royal Navy also say that meanwhile, three Royal Navy warships – HMS Tyne, HMS Richmond and HMS Kent – combined to escort the same group of Russian ships as they operated in the Celtic Sea and approaches to the South West coast of the UK.

“This task group were joined by RAF Typhoon and F-35s jets, plus tankers RFA Tideforce and RFA Tiderace, which kept the allied ships replenished throughout the operations and contributed to monitoring duties while in the Irish Sea.”

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Andy P

Severn has a three ringer in charge….. who did he piss off !

Nick C

I expect that he is the senior officer of the OPV squadron. They do swap crews around quite a lot so he could just be covering for one of his CO’s who is on a course, leave or just a gap between one boss leaving and another taking over.
Or he might have pissed someone off……?

Andy P

Aye, guess he could be the squadron CO, he must be keen if he’s driving though, this is when you can muck up your career if you’re ambitious, the buck stops with YOU.

Bloke down the pub

If he’d pissed off his seniors, there are plenty of worse gigs he could’ve been given.


Now Trump has gone, I guess we might see more of this??



James Fennell

Probably tit-for-tat after the recent NATO patrol off northern Russia. But the demise of Putin’s best mate will piss him off too.

Last edited 4 months ago by James Fennell
Stevo H

It’s pretty standard for foreign naval ships to pass through the English Channel as it’s the busiest stretch of water in the World. We do it as well when our warships deploy or go on exercises. There’s nothing wrong here.