Russian Warships to Arrive in Cuba Next Week

Russian Warships to Arrive in Cuba Next Week
Above: Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov at the Naval Base of Black Sea Fleet on September 23, 2014 in Novorossiysk, Russia. Image copyright: Sasha Mordovets/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • A group of Russian naval ships — including the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan — will make a port call to Havana next week, Cuba's Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces said.

  • The Kazan and three other Russian vessels — none of them equipped with nuclear weapons — will reportedly visit the port of Havana between June 12 and 17.

The Spin

Anti-Russia narrative

It's not the first time that Russian warships are visiting Cuba, nor do the naval exercises pose an immediate threat. Moscow's primary goal is to prove that it's still capable of projecting its military power globally, and its failure to notify the US of the drills proves its hostile geopolitical posture. However, Moscow's aging fleet, already struggling to maintain operational readiness and conduct deployments, reveals that Russia is overestimating itself in its expansionist policy.

Pro-Russia narrative

The Russian military drills are, first and foremost, a testament to the traditionally close and friendly Russia-Cuba ties. It would be ironic for the US to exaggerate the maneuvers, as it's the US that deploys its military around the globe at will to protect its so-called "rules-based order." Although the warships' presence poses no threat to the US, it's a powerful reminder that the world has entered a multipolar age and that the US, with its proxy wars, has never been more vulnerable.

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