Royal Navy shadows nine Russian warships stalking Britain’s coast in two weeks

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Nine Russian warships that have stalked Britain’s coast in just two weeks.

The Navy and military jets and helicopters have shadowed the crafts and “kept a watchful eye” on the super power as they increase their activity in UK waters.

A surfaced submarine, destroyer, corvette and patrol ship were among the vessels to sail through the Channel, Celtic Sea and past the west of Scotland.

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin said: “This is why the Royal Navy is at sea every day, protecting the UK and our interests.

“Even with the pressures of Covid, we remain at short notice to respond to threats both in home waters and around the world.

“Despite the increase in Russian activity, both on the surface and underwater, we are always ready to respond.”

Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland, based at Devonport, watched Udaloy-class destroyer the Vice-Admiral Kulakov as it sailed north-west of the Outer Hebrides.

Patrol ship HMS Severn with support from HMS Lancaster and a Wildcat helicopter shadowed a surfaced Kilo-class submarine, the Stary Oskol, the corvette Boikiy, patrol ship Vasiliy Bykov and support ships through the Channel.

HMS Tyne, HMS Richmond and HMS Kent alongside jets and RAF tankers escorted the same group of ships as they operated in the Celtic Sea.

Severn also followed the Vice-Admiral Kulakov through the stretch in a separate incident.

The Russian ships also sheltered from bad weather off northern France, where Severn was joined by allied French navy ships and aircraft.

Commander Philip Harper, Severn’s commanding officer, said: “In very challenging conditions with rough weather, Severn and several other British and allied ships have spent 20 days ensuring that Russian transiting warships remain under our watchful eyes.”