Royal Navy shadows Russian ships amid ‘unusually high levels of activity’

The Royal Navy has completed a “large-scale operation” shadowing seven Russian vessels in waters around the UK amid “unusually high levels of activity” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Military chiefs on Thursday announced the activity in the English Channel and North Sea as service personnel aid in the effort to save lives from Covid-19 across the country.

The operation backed by Nato allies also came after EU experts accused Russian state media of waging a disinformation campaign over the coronavirus crisis.

A Navy statement said: “As the Royal Navy prepares to help the NHS and other Government departments deal with the response to the coronavirus outbreak, nine British ships have been shadowing seven Russian vessels in waters around the UK.

“The Navy has completed a concentrated operation to shadow the Russian warships after unusually high levels of activity in the English Channel and North Sea.

“Type 23 frigates HMS Kent, HMS Sutherland, HMS Argyll and HMS Richmond joined Offshore Patrol Vessels HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey along with RFA Tideforce, RFA Tidespring and HMS Echo for the large-scale operation with support from Nato allies.”

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