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Two Portsmouth-based warships have been shadowing a Russian naval flotilla passing through the English Channel today in what the Defence Secretary says was deliberately aimed at testing British capabilities.
Thousands of people headed for the Kent and Sussex coast today to witness a spectacular and politically tense event in the English Channel. In a show of military strength, a task force of Russian warships passed through the Dover Strait, at around 1030 this morning. They're said to be heading to the Mediterranean to bolster the bombing campaign against the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo. This report by Tom Savvides includes an interview with defence analyst Paul Beaver and pictures from Dovermarina.com.
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Royal Navy vessels are following Russian warships 'every inch of the way' as they pass through the English Channel on their way to Syria.Read the full story ›
More people arrive hoping to see the Russian and British warships in the English Channel https://t.co/Dnd4RBhxSu
The Admiral Kuznetsov and seven other vessels are passing the UK as they head to Syria, where Russia backs the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Royal Navy said it and Nato would monitor the mission, as is usual when other nations' fleets enter UK waters.
A Navy spokeswoman said: "UK and Nato assets routinely monitor warships from other nations when they enter our area of interest and this will be no different."
Two British naval ships are shadowing the Russian vessels.