Russian tanker freed from Somali pirates, crew unscathed.
Russian commandos from the large anti-submarine ship Marshal Shaposhnikov on Thursday freed a Russian tanker hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, a high-ranking official from the maritime coalition forces has reported.
The Moscow University with 23 Russian crewmembers and 86,000 tons of oil was hijacked by Somali pirates on Wednesday.
The official said the crew was unharmed and the pirates had been detained, adding that the Russian Navy crew from the Marshal Shaposhnikov was currently on board the tanker.
MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti)
Last Edit: May 12, 2010 7:20:54 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Russian naval task force sailors released on Thursday the Somali pirates detained after a mission to free the Moscow University tanker, a Defense Ministry source told RIA Novosti.
"Unfortunately, at present there exist no legal rules for prosecuting in court the pirates operating in the region of Somali," the source said. "This means they do not fall under the jurisdiction of any state or international law."
Commandos from the large anti-submarine warship Marshal Shaposhnikov freed the tanker earlier on Thursday in a 22-minute operation that saw one pirate shot dead. The vessel, on its way from the Red Sea to China, was seized on Wednesday.
The source added that after the pirates had been disarmed and their navigation equipment removed, they were "put into an inflatable boat" and pushed off into the sea.
The news comes shortly after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had pledged to punish pirates who seize vessels off the Somali coast.
"What is the problem? We are all aware of this evil and cannot agree on how to fight it," Medvedev told Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.
"We will have to act as our forefathers did when they met pirates", the Russian president said. "Of course, we will fight pirates with the full force of naval law."
He did not specify exactly how the pirates should be punished.
Somali pirates carried out a record number of attacks and hijackings in 2009. According to the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center, a total of 217 vessels were attacked last year, resulting in 47 hijackings.
Somali pirates released by Russian forces confirmed dead.
Moscow - The Somali embassy in Moscow on Tuesday confirmed the death of 10 pirates released at sea last week by Russian forces off the coast of the Horn of Africa country.
Earlier, an official from Russia's Defence Ministry told journalists that the men were presumed dead since their boat had not reached the shore.
Russian forces had captured the pirates last week in an operation to rescue the tanker Moskovsky Universitet, which was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.
But the pirates were released on Friday and put in one of their own boats, without weapons or navigation equipment, 300 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, after Russia said there were no international guidelines for prosecuting the men.
SOMALIA: Russia executed all Somali pirates – spokesman.
BOSASSO (Somalilandpress) — A pirate spokesman , who wished to remain anonymous, contacted Somalilandpress today said at least ten of his men were executed by the Russian navy after the troopers stormed MV Moscow University.
“The Russians commandos stormed the ship before sunrise, starting a firefight with our men, onboard they injured three of them and one was killed,” he said.
He dismissed the Russian navy statement that the men were released because of “the absence of a legal base to carry out prosecution procedures against pirates”.
“The Russians never released the young men instead they shot them point-blank range then loaded their lifeless bodies back on the boat,” he added.
The spokesman condemned the action of the Russian navy “our men never hurt their hostages, we simply want foreign ships to stop overfishing in our waters, if they are not happy to respect our-fishermen and their livelihood, we have no choice but to take hostage to compensate for the losses,” he cited.
“We condemn the action of the Russians, it’s driven by racism and hate for black people and Africa, it’s the face of the new Russia. In future, if we capture Russians they will meet the same fate as those they executed,” he added.
Meanwhile, many Somalis were angered by Somalia’s ambassador to Moscow, Mohamed Handule’s statement, who backed the Russian navy denying that the Russian destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov has not acted inappropriately. They requested an investigation and the immediate replacement of Mr. Handule.
“Not one Somali or the government of our country sees Russia has being guilty in this,” Mr. Handule told ITAR-TASS news agency.
On the 6th May, eleven Somali pirates hijacked the Liberian-flagged Russian oil tanker, MV Moscow University, carrying 86,000 tonnes of crude oil worth $US52 million in the Gulf of Aden. The anti-submarine destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov was notified and dispatched a helicopter which disrupted the pirates while commandos on speed boats stormed the tanker. The Russians have killed all eleven pirates and have destroyed their boats according to the pirate spokesman.
There are reports, Somali pirates still hold 23 foreign ships and 384 sailors in Somalia. Meanwhile, a conference co-sponsored by the United Nation and the Turkish government designed to address the piracy, stability and Somalia’s security will be hosted in Istanbul from 21st-23rd of May.
"Hello, this is Mr Shark, I'm speaking on behalf of all fish off the coast of Somalia, we have taken the pirate spokeman's words under consideration, and we would like to inform you that we have a solution for overfishing... just...u'know, drop those pirates over the side, and we'll bounce back in no time!"
French warships for Russia may be armed with Ka-52 helicopters.
Russian Ka-52 Alligator helicopters may be the best choice to arm Mistral helicopter carriers, which Russia plans to purchase from France, the chief of Russian helicopter holding said on Wednesday.
Russia negotiates the purchase of at least one Mistral-class amphibious assault ship, worth 400-500 million euros (around $530-$660 million) and plans to build three more vessels of the same class in partnership with a French naval shipbuilder.
The director of the Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation in April told RIA Novosti the political decision on the Mistral's purchase had already been taken.
"The French have said the Ka-52 could be the best helicopter for the aircraft carriers [helicopter carriers]," Andrei Shibitov said while answering a question on which helicopter may be used on the Mistral. Two other types of helicopters were tested on the Mistral when the ship made a short port call in Russia in 2009, he added.
The Ka-52 is armed with a 30-mm cannon, Vikhr (Whirlwind) laser guided missiles, rockets, including S-24s, as well as bombs.
The Ka-52 is a modification of the basic Ka-50 Hokum model. The development of the Ka-52 started in 1994 in Russia, but its serial production began only in 2008.
The helicopter is also equipped with two radars, one for ground and one for aerial targets and a Samshite nighttime-daytime thermal sighting system.
Post by TsarSamuil on May 13, 2010 20:06:04 GMT -5
Russian Expert: Somali Pirates Set to Negotiate with Bulgaria Govt.
Novinite.com Diplomacy | May 13, 2010, Thursday
The 15 Bulgarian sailors are unlikely to be released soon by the Somali pirates that hijacked Tuesday the Bulgarian-flagged ship, MV Panega, according to Mikhail Voitenko, ex Editor-in-Chief of the Russian publication “Sovfrakht Maritime Bulletin.”
Voitenko, speaking to PRO.BG on Thursday said that even though the MV Panega was empty when it was hijacked it is unlikely that it will be given back soon. He added that the pirates are likely to enter in to negotiations with the Bulgarian government in an attempt to get more ransom money.
Regarding the other ships that have been hijacked by the pirates with Bulgarian sailors on board, Voitenko said it is likely that the St James Park will be released soon but that he holds little hope of the same happening to the Asian Glory, as “for an unexplained reason the pirates seem to really like the ship.”
Earlier Thursday, the former Bulgarian state-owned sea company Navigation Maritime Bulgare, which is the official operator of the chemical tanker MV Panega, announced Thursday that there's been no development on the negotiations with the Somali pirates as they have been unable to get in touch with the hijackers.
Sailors Released by Somali Pirates to Leave for Bulgaria Thursday.
Novinite.com Diplomacy | May 18, 2010, Tuesday
The St James Park tanker released by the Somali pirates after almost 5 months in captivity has arrived in a port in Oman, said Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vesela Cherneva.
The five Bulgarian sailors from the crew met with the Bulgarian Consul in Oman immediately after their arrival, as well as a medical team and a team of psychologists.
In the next two days they will be accommodated in a hotel, where they will undergo medical tests and will be interrogated by the authorities.
However, the sailors are all in good health, Cherneva said announcing also that they will leave for Bulgaria on Thursday.
The Foreign Ministry has also provided information about the two other ships with Bulgarian crew members that remain in Somali captivity - the “Asian Glory” cargo vessel with eight Bulgarian sailors on board and the Bulgarian-flagged ship MV Panega with its all Bulgarian 15-member crew, which was hijacked last week.
According to Cherneva, the MV Panega is known to have reached the coast of Somalia, but there are no reports that the sailors have contacted their relatives.
She explained that the Foreign Ministry is trying to reduce the publicity to a minimum following kidnapping experts' advice in order to protect the Bulgarian sailors.
Russian warship to escort 5 merchant vessels in Gulf of Aden.
Russia's Marshal Shaposhikov destroyer will escort a convoy of five commercial ships through pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
"The convoy will consist of five vessels and the Russian warship will ensure their safe passage," a spokesman for the Defense Ministry said.
The Russian Pacific Fleet task force comprising the Marshal Shaposhnikov, the MB-37 salvage tug and the Pechenga tanker arrived in the Gulf of Aden on March 29 to join the anti-piracy mission in the region.
Navy commandos from the Marshal Shaposhnikov freed the Russian Moscow University tanker during a 22-minute operation on May 6. Ten attackers were detained and one was killed. None of the crew members was injured.
The Marshal Shaposhnikov made a port call in Djibouti on Monday where it replenished food and water supplies.
The Russian Navy will use the Djibouti port, located in the Horn of Africa, as its temporary base for anti-piracy operations in the region.
The current task force is the fourth group of warships from the Russian Pacific Fleet engaged in the anti-piracy mission off Somalia, with the previous three task forces led by the Admiral Vinogradov, Admiral Panteleyev and the Admiral Tributs destroyers. The Northern and Baltic fleets have also sent task forces to the region.
These dumb bastards don't learn... time to make another example of pirates! Mr Shark is hungry!
Nigerian group thought behind kidnap of Russian sailors in Cameroon.
A Nigerian militant group may have been involved in the abduction of two Russian sailors in West Africa, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
Two Russian seamen, including a former member of the Arctic Sea cargo vessel at the center of a hijacking saga last year, were abducted in Cameroon on May 16.
Andrei Nesterenko quoted Cameroonian law enforcement agencies as saying "militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta may have been involved in the abduction of the Russian sailors."
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, one of the largest militant groups in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, has been linked to attacks on foreign-owned companies in the oil-rich but impoverished region.
Nesterenko said Moscow was pursuing every avenue to locate the Russian nationals.
Alexander Bodnya, head of the Russian Sailors' Trade Union Baltic branch, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday the pirates who had seized the Russians had made no demands yet.
The North Spirit vessel, flying the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and owned by Greece's Balthellas Chartering S.A., was attacked by pirates on while anchored in Cameroon's largest port of Douala.
The attackers took captain Boris Tersintsev and chief engineering officer Igor Shumik hostage and left the ship.
Shumik was among the 15 crew members on the Arctic Sea cargo ship, which disappeared for more than three weeks last summer while carrying a $2 million shipment of timber from Finland to Algeria.
The ship's disappearance, which triggered a major international search effort, raised suspicions that it was carrying a "secret cargo" of drugs or weapons. Russian authorities have denied the rumors, saying the vessel was hijacked by criminals who demanded a ransom.
The Arctic Sea was intercepted by the Russian Navy off West Africa on August 16, 2009. Eight alleged hijackers from Estonia, Latvia and Russia were arrested.
MOSCOW, May 20 (RIA Novosti)
Last Edit: May 20, 2010 9:09:22 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
5 Bulgarian Sailors Return Home after Months in Somali Captivity.
Novinite.com Diplomacy | May 21, 2010, Friday
The five Bulgarian crew members of the St. James Park tanker landed in the city of Varna Friday after spending more than four months in the hands of the Somali pirates.
The five men – Svetlozar Tenev, Emil Dyankov, Nikolay Kolev, Ivaylo Ruse, and Stefan Angelov – were met by their relatives and friends at the Varna Airport. They were also welcomed by Bulgaria’s Transport Minister Alexander Tsvetkov and the Mayor of Varna, Kiril Yordanov.
“The Somali pirates are very good manipulators,” declared the the Deputy Captain of the St. James Park, Ivaylo Rusev, during the news conference that the five men gave upon their arrival.
“Not more than 15% of the what reaches the international public about them is true. There were moments that I did not know if I was telling my relatives the truth on the phone,” the sailor explained.
He added that the Somali pirates are very well-trained, and that they have recently started to use a new tactic – camouflaging their ships to make them look like international naval vessels.
“Part of their tactics is to keep the captain and the crew separately, and to manipulate both sides,” Rusev explained revealing that during their time in captivity, the sailors could hear gun shots around the hijacked ship the entire time, which made them nervous and uneasy.
He pointed out that he and the other released hostages are in a good physical health but in a bad mental condition, and that they had nervous fits and blood pressure problems.
The sailor called the cook of the St. James Park a hero because he managed to hide food from the Somali pirates and help the crew survive this way as the kidnapped men were only given rice; the goats that were sent to the ship never made it to the crew members. The 35-37 pirates who were guarding the ship had their faces covered the entire time.
“The Somalis took everything they could from the ship. They even took the pens from the desks. They also wanted to strip off my only pair of jeans off me, the ones that I am wearing right now,” disclosed the Deputy Captain of the St. James Park.
In his words, the pirates did exert pressure and treated the hostages badly, especially when they would get drunk or would use drugs, by threatening them and shooting close to their heads.
According to Rusev, his party was lucky because they were arrested in a relatively small room, and because the ship had a system for producing fresh water.
Some of the sailors said they would not sail again after their Somali captivity; they believe, however, that the UK operator of the ship, the company Zodiac, did a very good job releasing them.
The St. James Park ship was on its way to Thailand on December 29, 2009, when Somali pirates hijacked it in the Gulf of Aden, a body of water between Somalia and Yemen.
The 13,924-tonne ship's had 26 crew from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Georgia, India, Turkey and the Philippines.
The Somali pirates released the vessel operated by the UK company Zodiac on May 14, but there is no information about the amount of the ransom that was paid.
After its release, the St. James tanker went to Oman where the sailors underwent medical examinations and were interrogated by the authorities.
The 8 Bulgarian sailors from the Asian Glory cargo vessel hijacked two days after St. James Park remain in Somali captivity as do the 15-member crew of the Bulgarian-flagged ship MV Panega hijacked in mid-May.
4 of the 5 Bulgarian sailors that came back from Somali captivity together with Trasnport Minister Tsvetkov (left) and Varna Mayor Yordanov (second on the left) after landing in Varna Friday. Photo by BGNES
Post by TsarSamuil on May 24, 2010 19:04:43 GMT -5
Russian shipbuilders say ready to construct Mistral class ships.
Russian shipyards are ready to build Mistral class helicopter carriers whenever they receive orders from the military, industry officials said on Monday.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said earlier on Monday that Russia had reached the final stage of pre-contract talks with France, Spain and the Netherlands on the purchase of four of the French warships.
According to the minister, one vessel will be bought outright and the other three will be built under license with the participation of Russian shipbuilders. The full construction of the fourth vessel would take place in Russia.
"We are ready if the Defense Ministry gives us an order to build these ships," said Dmitry Morochenko, a spokesman for the United Industrial Corporation, which owns several shipyards and tool-making plants in northern Russia, the heartland of the country's shipbuilding sector.
The United Shipbuilding Corporation, which owns shipbuilding assets in Russia's Far East and northern Russia, said building such vessels would not be entirely new to Russian dockyards.
"Russia has experience in the construction of similar ships during the Soviet era, for example the Ivan Rogov class military transport ships, so we do not see any problems in fulfilling this contract," spokesman Igor Ryabov said.
Russia built three Ivan Rogov class amphibious transport ships during the Soviet era. One of them, the Mitrofan Moskalenko, is still in service with the Russian Navy but has been put on a Defense Ministry list of assets for sale.
A Ivan Rogov class ship can carry a reinforced naval infantry battalion landing team with all its combat vehicles, plus 10 PT-76 light amphibious tanks. Its flight deck can accommodate four Ka-27 or Ka-29 naval helicopters.
Russia-Vietnam submarine deal worth record $3.2 bln — magazine.
Last year's contract on the delivery of six Kilo class diesel submarines to Vietnam, worth a total of $3.2 billion, is the largest deal in the history of Russian exports of naval equipment, a Russian magazine says.
The contract was signed in December 2009 during the visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Russia.
"The construction cost is $2.1 billion, but the building of all necessary coastal infrastructure and the delivery of armaments and other equipment may bring the total to $3.2 bln, which makes this deal the largest in the history of Russian exports of naval equipment," the Export of Arms magazine says in an editorial published in its June issue.
Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg will build the submarines with the rate of one vessel per year.
State-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport previously said Russia could sell up to 40 fourth-generation diesel-electric submarines to foreign customers by 2015.
Kilo class submarines, nicknamed "Black Holes" for their ability to avoid detection, are considered to be among the quietest diesel-electric submarines in the world.
The submarine is designed for anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface-ship warfare, and also for general reconnaissance and patrol missions.
The vessel has a displacement of 2,300 tons, a maximum depth of 350 meters (1,200 feet), a range of 6,000 miles, and a crew of 57. It is equipped with six 533-mm torpedo tubes.
At least 29 Kilo class subs have been exported to China, India, Iran, Poland, Romania and Algeria.
Export of Arms is a specialized Moscow-based technical and analytical magazine, published bimonthly by Russia's Centre for Strategic and Technological Analysis.
Over 3,000 personnel take part in NATO naval drills in Baltic Sea.
Over 3,000 servicemen from different countries are taking part in the international Baltops-2010 naval exercises, which began on Sunday in the Baltic Sea, Latvian Defense Minister Imants Liegis said.
The Baltops exercise has been held annually since 1994 within the framework of the NATO Partnership for Peace Program. It is aimed to promote a mutual understanding of maritime interoperability between U.S. Navy, NATO, and non-NATO participants.
This year, the exercise is being held in Latvia and Estonia and involves servicemen from the U.S., Belgium, Estonia, Denmark, France, Latvia, the U.K., Lithuania, Poland, Finland, Germany and Sweden.
A total of 36 vessels, two submarines and other military vehicles are taking part in the drills.
Russia is participating in the drills as an observer.
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Nov 28, 2019 11:30:45 GMT -5
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Jan 10, 2020 14:27:01 GMT -5
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Mar 15, 2020 10:48:19 GMT -5
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Apr 19, 2020 4:29:09 GMT -5
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May 18, 2020 9:10:02 GMT -5
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Aug 30, 2020 13:48:17 GMT -5