One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?
Remnants of the once great Soviet fleet still comprise much of the Russian Navy. Here the Black Sea Fleet Kashin-class destroyer Smetlivyy, in service since 1969, belches smoke heading through the Turkish straits. (Cem Devrim Yaylal)
The surface combatants in today’s Russian Navy are an eclectic mix of mostly Soviet-era designs built in the 1980s and early 1990s—from guided-missile cruisers to a host of small missile boats, frigates, corvettes, and legacy flotsam inherited by the five fleets.1