Saturday, August 30, 2008
Russian admiral: Our Black Sea fleet can destroy NATO’s group in 20 minutes
DEBKAfile Special Report
Russian Navy missile practice in Black Sea
Former Russian Black Sea Fleet commander, Adm. Eduard Baltin was quoted by Moscow media as saying Friday, Aug. 29: “Despite the apparent strength of the NATO naval group in the Black Sea… a single salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or three missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group. Within 20 minutes, the waters would be clear.” Adm. Baltin added: "We will not strike first, and they do not look like people with suicidal tendencies."
The Russian Fleet deploys 16 warships in the Black Sea compared with 10 NATO vessels – three American, Polish, German and Spanish frigates, and four Turkish warships, soon to be augmented by another six, including the USS Mount Whitney, which is considered one of the most advanced warships in the world.
In Washington, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino rejected Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin’s assertion that US personnel were in the combat zone during the war in Georgia and “someone in the United States” provoked the conflict to help one of the candidates in the American presidential race.
In his first major remark since the Georgian crisis erupted, Putin quoted information provided by the Russian military but offered no evidence. Perino called his allegations “patently false and “not rational.”