The U.K. Royal Navy shadowed thee Russian warships as they sailed past the British Isles, London announced in a Tuesday press release.
HMS Westminster (F237), HMS Lancaster (F229) and HMS Richmond (F239), all type 23 frigates, monitored Russian ships Slava-class cruiser RTS Marshal Ustinov (055), Udaloy-class destroyer RFS Vice Admiral Kulakov (626) and tanker Vyazma as they passed by the British Isles on their way home from the Mediterranean Sea, where they have been since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Marshal Ustinov, the sister ship to former RTS Moskva (121) – which the Ukrainians sank earlier this year, causing the Russians to keep most of its Black Sea fleet away from Ukraine’s coast – passed through the Strait of Gibraltar on Aug. 18, USNI News previously reported. It spent approximately six months in the Mediterranean supporting Russia’s invasion.
USS Cole (DDG-67) and USS Bainbridge (DDG-96), which are assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, also on its way home from the Mediterranean, accompanied the Russian ships as they sailed by the Rock of Gibraltar last month.
Lancaster also tracked the ships from the Strait of Gibraltar – Gibraltar is an English territory – to the Celtic Sea as part of Standing NATO Maritime Task Group 1.
Westminster and Richmond, along with their helicopters, monitored the English Channel and Celtic Sea, according to the London release.
Westminster came from Portsmouth, England, to intercept the Russian ships in the Celtic Sea. Marshal Ustinov refueled from Vyazma in the body of water. Richmond monitored the English Channel.
NATO and its allies have been tracking the Russian ships as they travel home, according to a press release from the Allied Maritime Command. U.K. ships belong to both Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 and 2. Both groups have been following the Russian ships.
NATO has not observed aggressive behavior from the three Russian ships, according to the release.