A sensation typical for the Cold War times, but hardly imaginable today happened in St. Petersburg. Russian battleships that had come to take part in the Victory Day’s military parade on May 9, have urgently been called on into the Baltic sea to prevent or counterfeit a potential air missile strike by U.S. navy’s USS Carney, news agency Fontanka.ru reported. What might seem to be a Fool’s Day joke is what locals can check out by seeing the waters of the Neva river which hosted the warships just a couple of days ago and are empty now.
The military parade to celebrate the USSR’s victory over the Nazi Germany in 1945, which was gained in an alliance with USA, Great Britain and other countries, including even Brazil, is one of the most important part of the most important Russia’s celebration. Parades take part in all major cities across the country attracting huge crowds and starting a series of celebration events to honor the memory of soldiers of the WWII, dead and alive ones. May 9 is undoubtedly the most moving day in a today’s Russia and will remain that for long.
This year, St. Petersburg’s Palace square, just opposite the Hermitage, is ready to become a scene for the greatest ever parade with participation of aircraft and, traditionally, ships of the Baltic navy based in a town of Baltyisk (Kaliningrad region) and Kronshtadt, a suburb of St. Petersburg.
But on May 6, almost all of the battle ships and submarines have just gone without any comments from the Russian Ministry of Defense. There are still no any official comments available.
As St. Petersburg news agency Fontanka.ru reported today, the reason for the ships to be withdrawn was their urgent deployment in the Baltic Sea where USS Carney has come into the Gulf of Gdansk after taking part in the NATO’s Joint Warriors exercises. The distance between the destroyer and Russia now makes it possible for USS Carney to deal a missile strike so the Russian navy’s warships need to be on alert in an anti-missile order to be ready to take action if needed, an unauthorized source from the navy told to Fontanka. He added that it’s an ordinary practice. Being on the roads in Saint Petersburg with no ammunition (that had been left at the base in Kronshtadt) leaves the ships not just vulnerable, but merely useless and helpless.
Perhaps, the Russian navy command’s anxiety was prompted by the fact the USS Porter, of the same Aleigh Burke-class as USS Carney is, has recently taken part in the prominent attack by US military forces in Syria launching 59 tomahawks. The edition suggests that USS Carney may have tomahawks that can fly without being detected by Russian famous C-400 anti-missile complex which adds to the set of reasons for the Russian navy staff to be some nervous and quick.
Anti-NATO moods in Russia are best indicated by the photo of American soldiers taken in an Estonian town of Narva with Russian Ivangorod’s fortress in the background. The photo went viral across social media receiving many scathing comments.
Cover photo: A Russian warship on the roads in the Neva river after military parade in May 2015.