The Finnish Navy and the country’s public broadcaster, Yle, filmed and took pictures of two large vessels of the Russian Navy that reached the Gulf of Finland on Monday. Nuclear sub Dmitriy Donskoi and battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy were moving through international waters close to Helsinki.
Watch Yle's video HERE.
The Dmitriy Donskoi (TK-208) is a Typhoon-class nuclear submarine and the largest submarine in the world in active service. She is powered by two nuclear reactors and can carry up to 20 Bulava-type ballistic missiles able to carry nuclear warheads.
The Pyotr Velikiy is the flagship of Russia’s Northern Fleet and a battlecruiser of the Kirov-class. She is 252 meters long. The term “battlecruiser” was reinvented by NATO for this class of vessel, as there hadn’t been any surface warships of the size since the Second World War when it was introduced. She was part of the exercises during which the loss of the nuclear submarine Kursk occurred in August 2000.
Compared to the Pyotr Velikiy, the Finnish ships are small, with its Hämeenmaa-type minelayers being 78 and its ice breakers all of 116 meters long. The Estonian Navy’s Sandown-class minesweepers, the Admiral Cowan, the Sakala, and the Ugandi are all of 52.6 meters long.
The Finns followed the movements of the two Russian vessels from a helicopter, from where Yle journalist Anna Karismo reported.
The ships are headed for Kronstadt, where they will participate in a navy parade. Russia’s Navy Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of July, which this year falls on July 30. According to paper Nezavissimaya Gazeta, 30 warships are expected, along with submarines and aircraft as well.
The Dmitriy Donskoi and the Pyotr Velikiy were recently spotted close to Denmark as well as they were arriving in the Baltic Sea.
According to professor Petteri Lalu of Finland’s State Defence Academy, Russia wants the ships to draw national and international attention. “Because of this it’s certain that the submarines moving towards Kronstadt are doing so at the surface. They attract attention, but in the case of [Dmitriy Donskoi and Pyotr Velikiy] one can’t say that they have the kind of operative power fit for the next decades. But as they’re large, they get plenty of media coverage,” Lalu said.
Editor: Dario Cavegn