The Military Maritime Fleet of Russia (voienno-morskoi flot Rossii) is the naval arm of the Russian military. The current fleet evolved out of the short-lived navy of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which was created out of the Soviet navy.
   The maritime forces are divided between the following units: the Northern Fleet (based in Severomorsk, Murmansk, and deployed in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans); the Pacific Fleet (based in Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai); the Black Sea Fleet (based in Sevastopol, Ukraine); the Baltic Fleet (headquartered in Kaliningrad); the Caspian Flotilla (based in Astrakhan); Naval Aviation; and the Coastal Troops. The Russian navy includes a wide variety of warships, including an aircraft carrier (the Admiral Kuznetsov), 15 ballistic and 8 cruise missile submarines, more than 40 other submarines, 17 destroyers, 4 cruisers, dozens of patrol ships, and more than 100 patrol craft.
   With 170,000 sailors, Russia has the world’s third-largest navy in terms of personnel, behind the United States and China. Beyond Russia’s borders, the navy maintains a presence at Tartus, a port in Syria. Redeployment of Russian naval forces to Yemen is also under consideration. Naval forces participated in the South Ossetian War in 2008, blockading Georgian ports. However, their primary activity since 1991 has been devoted to antipiracy operations. Russia has conducted joint exercises with China, India, South Korea, and Japan in the past decade.
   The Russian navy has suffered a number of embarrassments in recent years (including high-profile failed missile launches and a rescue of Russian submariners by the British navy in 2005), as well as the tragic loss of the Kursk submarine in 2000. However, a major overhaul of the fleet is currently under way, with new vessels being launched and older ones retired. Since 11 September 2007, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky has served as commander-in-chief of the Russian navy.
   See also Middle East.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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