Russia’s simulacrum of an aircraft carrier will go Syria along with 2 other vessels (one of which, based on past experience, should be an ocean going tug/salvage vessel):
The vessels including the Admiral Kuznetsov, which will have eight Su-33 fighter aircraft, several new MiG-29K fighter jets and two Ka-27 naval helicopters on board, will arrive at the Mediterranean port of Tartous in the spring, the Moscow- based daily said.
In the spring? Really? Uhm, it’s not even winter yet. I didn’t know the Kuznetsov was oar propelled. But maybe this is just based on a realistic appraisal of the likelihood of breakdowns, etc. Or perhaps instead this is a purely symbolic expression of pique that the Russians hope they don’t have to follow through on.
An indication that Russia continues to support the [Assad] regime, and also that any multilateral effort to conduct a no fly zone regime change would have to go through a venue other than the United Nations Security Council. Still, it’s a risky move, because if Assad falls, the new regime will likely remember the visit of the Kuznetsov for just as long as the Indians remembered the deployment of the USS Enterprise into the Bay of Bengal in 1971. You have to wonder about the decision-making procedures in the Kremlin; how much information do the Russians have about the foundations of the regime, and how much of this is generated by anti-NATO animus as opposed to an effort to engage in regional influence?
Put heavy money on option B. Especially in light of the track record, and the nationalist Putin and Medvedev speeches at the Crooks and Thieves Convention.