7: Ukraine War: Conflict at Sea & the Nuclear Spectre
Host Iain Ballantyne and returning special guest James Bosbotinis, who has deep insight into Russia’s strike capabilities and strategy, in this episode discuss the naval side of the Ukraine conflict and attempt to clear away some of the fog of war.
In a wide-ranging chat they look at how things have unfolded so far, with attention paid to the following aspects: the shape of the overall offensive on land and from the sea; missile-firings by Russian warships and submarines from the Black Sea against targets in Ukraine; the Snake Island episode in which Russian warships bombarded a Ukrainian garrison that showed heroic defiance; merchant vessels being hit by missiles; the likely amphibious assaults by Russian forces and a looming blockade of Ukrainian ports.
Iain and James compare the scale of Russia’s land-attack missile firings to those by the US Navy and allies in previous wars. They also discuss the capacity of Russian missile-firing vessels compared to American warships.
Among the other topics covered are: the urgent need for European NATO nations to close the land-attack missile gap with Moscow’s naval strike forces; Russia’s ‘aircraft carriers’ in Syria and the Kaliningrad enclave; the thorny subject of the Turkish Straits
and whether or not they should be closed to Russian warships.
Iain and James also talk about the risk of tensions between the Kremlin and NATO escalating into the use of tactical nuclear weapons (or even other kinds of attacks). There are also reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war plus today’s risk of a miscalculation at sea in the heat of the moment.
• Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine.
For more details on the magazine http://bit.ly/wifrmag
Iain Ballantyne on Twitter: @IBallantyn
• For more information about Dr. James Bosbotinis visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesbosbotinis