News Blogmaritime piracy

Russian relief in the Gulf of Aden (continued)

As indicated, a few days ago, four ships of the Russian Pacific Fleet – the destroyer Admiral Panteleev (548), a tugboat and the tankers Ijora and Irkut left this Sunday night (March 29) towards the Gulf of Aden where they will participate in the international anti-piracy operation, according to our Russian colleagues from the Ria Novosti agency who quote the spokesperson for the Russian Pacific Fleet. The group of ships left the Golden Horn Bay (in Vladivostok) on March 29, at 10:00 a.m. local time (1:00 a.m. Paris time).

THEAdmiral Panteleev is a ship of the same type as the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov. Its crew numbered 293 men. It is equipped with two Ka-27 helicopters, Rastrub ASM missiles, 64 3K95 Kinzhal vertically launched surface-to-air missiles, 130 mm AK-130 artillery guns and 30 mm AK-630M multi-barrel cannons, 533 mm torpedoes and RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers.

Second relief. This is a second group of ships tasked with participating in the international operation to combat Somali pirates. The destroyer Admiral Vinogradov, the tug Fotiï Krylov and the tankers Boris Butoma and Petchenga completed their mission at the beginning of March. During her mission, she escorted 12 convoys comprising a total of 54 cargo ships from 17 countries.

This Russian presence demonstrates a threefold desire, with political and military foundations: 1) participate in international action against piracy; 2) protect Russian sailors or boats (*); 3) be present in a strategic area that is the Indian Ocean (see the base war).

Pirates: a business that works. According to an initial assessment, Somali pirates attacked around 120 cargo ships in 2008. They captured 35 ships and 600 sailors and the amount of ransoms obtained varied between 30 and 150 million dollars.

(*) The captain of the Greek tanker Nipayia (flying the Panamanian flag) hijacked by Somali pirates on Wednesday March 25, 450 km from the Somali coast, is Russian while the rest of the crew is Filipino. A Russian citizen is also in the crew of the Norwegian cargo ship Bow Asir (owned by Salhus Shippin) captured on Thursday March 26, more than 900 km from the Somali coast! The crew, commanded by a Norwegian, includes Europeans (Poles, Lithuanians and Finns).


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).