Vladimir Putin is ready to “seize control” of the Mediterranean Sea, as a top Russian military expert mocked the ‘tiny’ Royal Navy. Russia’s navy is sending eight hi-tech ships to Syria’s Med coast, with the fleet sailing through the North Sea and English Channel in the coming days. The sabre-rattling move is President Vladimir Putin’s latest show of strength as he continues to prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad against American wishes.

And insiders in Moscow’s military circles say it marks a first step towards Russia asserting its dominance in the Mediterranean. Defence expert for Russian news agency RIA, Alexander Khrolenko, said: “While the North Atlantic bloc is stalling in the sands of the Middle East, the Russian Navy seizes control over the Atlantic, not to mention the Mediterranean and Black Seas.” FULL REPORT