Putin Pressured To Strike Out At British Targets

In the wake of the successful Ukrainian attack on a Russian ship in the Black Sea, there are growing calls within Russia to target the British military. The attack, which involved Ukrainian cruise missiles provided by the UK Ministry of Defense, has sparked outrage and a desire for retaliation.

Russian political scientist Yuri Baranchik has urged Moscow to attack the British warship HMS Diamond in response to the Ukrainian strike. Baranchik believes this would be a significant blow to the British and the United States, interrupting their positive momentum following recent successes in Ukraine.

The attack on the Novocherkassk landing ship has highlighted the vulnerability of Russia’s naval components, particularly in the Northern Fleet. UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps emphasized this point, stating that 20% of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been destroyed over the past four months.

While the British Royal Navy declined to comment on the matter, it is clear that tensions between Russia and the UK are escalating. Retired US Marine Corps Colonel Mark Cancian believes that Baranchik’s remarks reflect typical Russian behavior, with President Vladimir Putin using surrogates to carry out his bidding.

Cancian suggests that Russia may use surrogates, such as the Iran-aligned Houthis, to target British forces. The Houthis, currently engaged in a conflict with a Western-leaning coalition led by Saudi Arabia, could pose a significant threat to British operations.

The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has further exacerbated anti-Western tensions, leading to increased gas prices. The situation in the Red Sea is also of great concern, with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasizing the need to defend this critical waterway.

Baranchik proposes a strategy where Russia supplies the Houthis with anti-ship missiles while the West provides relevant specialists to Ukraine. This strategy would raise the stakes and send a strong message to the West that Russia’s patience is running thin.

However, Cancian believes that the current threats to naval vessels in the Red Sea are primarily symbolic, as it would take weeks or even months for missiles to be sent from Russia to Yemen. The logistical challenges involved would likely require cooperation from Iran, which already has a pipeline to the Houthis.