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Russian Navy moves large landing ships to Black Sea as exercise deployments continue

The Northern Fleet's Project 775 Ropucha-class landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak transits the Bosphorus on 9 February. (Yoruk Isik)

The Russian Navy has moved a detachment of six large landing ships from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea where they will take part in naval exercises.

Three Project 775 Ropucha-class landing ships began their transit eastbound through the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea on the evening of 8 February, followed by two further Project 775s and a Project 11711 Ivan Gren-class landing ship the following evening.

The first trio consisted of Korolev, Minsk, and Kaliningrad of the Baltic Fleet's 71st Landing Ship Brigade (LSB), while the second group comprised Georgy Pobedonosets and Olenegorsky Gornyak (Project 775s), and Pyotr Morgunov of the Northern Fleet's Kola 121st LSB. All six ships had carried out a replenishment stop at Tartus naval base a few days earlier.

It is thought the ships will take part in amphibious assault exercises scheduled for 13 and 19 February in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea due to several navigation warnings Russia has put in place. This will be the largest Russian Navy amphibious capability seen in the Black Sea region since the 1990s.

Additionally, Russia has notified the Turkish authorities, as per the Montreux Convention, that a Project 636.3 Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) transit will take place around 11February. This is expected to be the Black Sea fleet SSK Rostov Na Donu, which has been operational in the Mediterranean for some time.

While the six landing ships transited eastbound, the Project 1164 Slava-class cruiser Moskva

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