UK destroyer escorts Russian cruiser-destroyer duo through the Channel

HMS Diamond sailing close to Russian Navy destroyer Severomorsk and cruiser Marshal Ustinov as they transit the English Channel. Photo: Royal Navy

Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond escorted two Russian warships as they passed through the English Channel on Tuesday.

The destroyer sailed from Dover to monitor the Russian destroyer Severomorsk and cruiser Marshal Ustinov as they sailed from their Severomorsk homeport for operations in the North Atlantic.

HMS Diamond has spent the last month undertaking various duties around the UK as one of the Royal Navy’s high readiness escort ships. She is at 24 hours’ notice to react to any incident or tasking in or around British waters.

Commander Ben Keith, the commanding officer of HMS Diamond, said: “HMS Diamond is proud to once again be playing her part in protecting the UK by monitoring these vessels on their transit.

“This is routine business for the Royal Navy and the second time my ship’s company have undertaken such an escort duty this summer.

The Udaloy-class destroyer Severomorsk and Slava-class cruiser Marshal Ustinov have just finished taking part in the Russian Navy Days event in the Baltic port of St Petersburg.

As the ships entered the busy shipping lanes between Norfolk and continental Europe, Diamond manoeuvred into formation alongside them and made them aware of her presence, the Royal Navy said.

The ships were then escorted towards the Dover strait. The navy said HMS Diamond continues to monitor the ships, remaining with them as they transit past Dover and along the south coast of England, after which they are expected to continue south, exiting the UK area of interest.

The duo started their deployment on July 5 and have, in addition to taking part in the naval parade, so far joined inter-fleet drills in the Baltic Sea to exercise with warships from Russia’s Baltic and Black Sea Fleets.

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