On Sunday, Vladimir Putin signed a military statement declaring that the United States was the main threat to Russian security.
It was the first update to Russia’s naval doctrine since 2015, when changes were made following Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
Sunday was Navy Day, a national holiday established by Putin’s decree in 2017 celebrated with a huge parade of military vessels on the Neva river in St. Petersburg, a venue chosen to honor Tsar Peter the Great for establishing Russia as a major naval power.
” The Main Naval Parade features the ground, maritime and airborne components of modern Russian Navy. In all, 47 combat ships, boats and submarines of Russia’s Northern, Pacific, Baltic and Black Sea Fleets are participating in the Main Naval Parade on the Neva River and in the Kronshtadt roadstead,” the state-run Tass news service reported.
The parade also included over 40 naval aircraft, including helicopters, transports, fighters, bombers, and about 3,500 personnel.
Before launching the naval parade with a congratulatory address to Russia’s sailors, Putin signed a 55-page document that laid out the strategic goals of the Russian Navy. According to the document, Russia faces the greatest threat from “the US strategic policy to control the oceans” and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO’s) advances on Russia’s borders.
“Guided in this doctrine, Russia will firmly defend its national interests on the oceans of the world, and have sufficient maritime power to ensure their safety and protection,” said the new naval doctrine.
Russia’s Varyag missile cruiser fires a cruise missile as part of the Russian navy manoeuvres in the Bering Sea. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
To this end, Russia stated that it will pursue greater strategic and maritime cooperation with countries like India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia – these two nations being important strategic allies of the United States.
The doctrine also called on Russia to strengthen its navy in the Black Sea and Azov seas after the invasion by Ukraine. It described the Arctic as an area of special concern for Russia, a focus that is making American planners nervous about the safety of U.S. and allied assets in that remote region.
Radio Free Europe (RFE) noted Putin listed several other bodies of water where Russia would protect its interests by “all means,” including the Okhotsk and Bering Seas and the Baltic and Kuril Straits. Russia disputes maritime boundaries with several other countries in these areas.
During Putin’s Navy Day speech, he promised that Zircon hypersonic rockets will be delivered to Russian warships in the coming months. Putin frequently boasts these missiles move so fast that American anti-missile systems cannot stop them. He boasts also that Russia leads the world in hypersonic technology. Therefore, has effective defenses to stop American hypersonic weaponry.
The Russian military said it has successfully tested Zircon missiles several times this year and even claims to have deployed them twice in combat in Ukraine. The Pentagon declined to confirm whether Zircons have been used in Ukraine and said in any event they would not be a “game changer.”
Putin said on Navy Day that hypersonic missiles would give Russia the ability to “respond with lightning speed to all who decides to infringe on our sovereignty and freedom.”