The Russian aircraft carrier fleet has abandoned its flight training mission and moved into the North Sea, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.  The eight-strong flotilla, led by the Admiral Kuzentsov, is been tracked by the HMS Richmond and several NATO vessels. The Russian media has dubbed the mission ‘Operation Sea Fist’.  A MOD spokesman said: ‘It is pretty unambiguous that they have set a course to pass through the Dover Strait.’

Vladimir Putin has already tried to divide the Royal Navy’s efforts to track his fleet by recalling two corvettes from the Mediterranean forcing the HMS Dragon to head south from Portsmouth to intercept.  It is understood there is also a Dutch submarine operating south of the English Channel. READ MORE