Over the Horizon: The Russian Navy’s Strategic Limitations

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Naval power is characterized by fungibility and flexibility. Because of the relatively open nature of the seas, ships and fleets can be transferred between ports and crisis zones in order to conduct operations or exert influence. Indeed, one of the key appeals of naval power is the ability of warships to respond to crises in a variety of locations without requiring a longstanding political and infrastructural commitment. However, of all the major naval powers, Russia remains most tightly constrained by its unfortunate maritime geography. Russian warships based in the Arctic, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific cannot easily support one another. […]

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