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U.S.: Russian Subs in Atlantic ‘More Active Than We’ve Seen Them in Years’

The threat posed by Russia’s undersea forces serves as only one example of how its military retains its capabilities despite the war in Ukraine, top U.S. military officials warn.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Russia has increased its submarine presence in the Atlantic at a higher level than ever in recent years, the top U.S. officer overseeing operations in Europe said Wednesday, citing one of several examples contradicting conclusions that the military loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been severely degraded by his war in Ukraine.

“The Russians have been more active than we’ve seen them in years,” Army Gen. Chris Cavoli, the top commander for NATO and U.S. military operations in Europe.

“Their patrols into the Atlantic and throughout the Atlantic are at a high level most of the time, at a higher level than we’ve seen in years,”said Cavoli.

His assessment represents a grave warning for future threats Russia may pose to the U.S. and Ukraine’s other western backers.

Though analysts have expressed concerns about Russia’s submarine forces in recent weeks, they have largely centered on the recent attention the Kremlin has focused on its Pacific Fleet, which conducted massive drills last week and which Moscow analyzed and claimed last week has “high readiness.”

SOKS
Russian submarines “Kazan.”

 

Those maneuvers were seen in part as an acknowledgement of Moscow and Beijing’s increased partnership.

Putin previously raised concerns in the West in January when he dispatched surface warships to the Atlantic Ocean, including those the U.S. believes can fire hypersonic weapons potentially capable of defeating American missile defenses.

Russia fields 11 ballistic missile submarines, which analysts previously assessed it deploys largely off its Arctic coasts.

Cavoli’s comments come at a time of growing consensus that Russia has severely harmed several key elements of its military power through President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022 without provocation. 

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