Following the official reports by the Ukrainian Navy leads us to the conclusion that russians have abruptly reduced the number of military ships stationed near the coast of Syria. Particularly, carriers of Kalibr cruise missiles under the command of the russian navy.
The latest reports suggest only one warship left with 16 land attack missiles as of May 2, reducing from 4 ships with 36 missiles spotted over the past month.
Let's rewind. According to the same reports, up until March 4 this year, there were 5 ships with a total arsenal of 72 Kalibr missiles "locked" in the Mediterranean Sea. Several days passed without reports, and on March 8 there were already only 3 ships with 20 missiles. Over the last month, the numbers started going up and down:
- April 12: 4 ships, 36 missiles;
- April 16: 3 ships 20 missiles;
- April 18: 4 ships 36 missiles again;
- April 20: 2 ships 24 missiles;
- April 24-25: 3 ships 28 missiles;
- April 26: 1 ship, 16 missiles.
But if we take into account information obtained from open sources, we can the dissonance, and here we have two possibilities: a) the Ukrainian Navy Command is mistaken and there are actually more Kalibr carriers in the Mediterranean now; or b) the Navy has a deeper insight, and the russians in fact withdrew some of their missiles from the ships.
For starters, we know for sure that a group of russian warships consisting of the Admiral Grigorovich frigate, Stoikiy and Soobrazitelny corvettes, and a support tanker passed through the Strait of Gibraltar on April 22. The same group was met by the ships of the British Royal Navy at the English Channel entrance afterward.
However, neither of these russian ships of the Baltic Fleet is a Kalibr carrier, they have only anti-ship missiles.
Moreover, satellite photos made last week show there were still two other missile carriers in the Syrian Tartus, the Krasnodar submarine and the Orekhovo-Zuevo corvette over the Black Sea Fleet, with a combined stockpile of 12 Kalibr missiles.
At the same time, the flagship of the russian navy in the Mediterranean is the Admiral Gorshkov frigate which can take up to 16 cruise missiles on board. That is, there are three russian ships near the coast of Syria with 28 Kalibr missiles ready for discharge.
And this is where our two options manifest: a) the Ukrainian Navy may have mistaken the warships that recently left the Mediterranean Sea for Kalibr carriers, or b) russians withdrew the missiles from some of their carriers so that the ships near Syria are actually empty, and the Ukrainian Navy knows it.
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