In order to increase the numbers of its surface forces, Russia has sent two military ships to the Sea of Azov: the Project 1040 Svetlyak-class patrol boats Syktyvkar and Kizlyar from the Russian Coast Guard, the Ukrainian Military Portal reports.
On October 10, the Kizlyar was spotted at the Cheboksary Reservoir, not far from Nizhny Novgorod beyond the passage in Arkhangelsk. The Syktyvkar took the same course on October 11.
“Both ships are expected to arrive in the Sea of Azov after October 20,” the report states.
It is not yet known which Russian Coast Guard regiment the ships will be joining.
Both ships were built at the Almaz plant in St. Petersburg. Although they were designed according to Project 10410 (Svetlyak), they have different weapons. The Syktyvkar was commissioned in 1995 and is armed with a 76mm AK-176M gun, a 30mm AK-630M, two launchers for Igla surface-to-air missiles, 2 bomb droppers (12 GB BB-1), and two MRG-1 Ogonyok grenade launchers (RG-55M and GRS-55 grenades).
At the end of May, Russia had already deployed a Shmel-class Project 1204 artillery boat and one Project 1400M Grif-class boat in the Sea of Azov. The boats are stationed at the base in occupied Kerch.
On September 6 at a session of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), Ukraine decided to reinforce its Naval presence in the Sea of Azov in connection with Russia’s aggressive actions. On October 12, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko brought into effect the NSDC’s decision to protect Ukraine’s interests in the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait to the south and east of Ukraine. According to Poroshenko, after the occupation of Crimea, the Kremlin’s next target is to occupy the Sea of Azov.