In a release from 8 November 2023, the Royal Navy disclosed that it had shadowed a Russian naval frigate from the North Sea through the English Channel.

While engaging in the Nato trials and training off Stavanger, Norway, the Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond monitored Russia’s General Grigorovich frigate in the North Sea.

The decision was made to shadow the Russian warship and Richmond followed Grigorovich through the Dover Strait and towards the Mediterranean Sea. 

“The English Channel is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Close monitoring and shadowing of Russian warships in UK waters and adjacent sea areas encourages their compliance with maritime law and deters malign activity,” said HMS Richmond’s Commanding Officer Commander Chris L’Amie.

“By maintaining a visible and persistent presence, the Royal Navy is demonstrating our steadfast commitment to the NATO alliance and maintaining maritime security, which is crucial to our national interests.”

The Admiral Grigorovich is the lead ship in the Admiral Grigorovich class also referred to as Krivak V class.

Admiral Grigorovich
Laid down18 December, 2010
Launched14 March, 2014
Commissioned 10 March, 2016
Standard Displacement3350 tons
Full Load displacement3860 tons
Speed30 knots
Range4850 nmi (14 knots)
Autonomy30 days
Compliment220 personnel
Vital statistics from on the Admiral Grigorovich.

As a major shipping lane, the English Channel plays host to vessels of all manner of nations, en route between the North Sea and more southerly waters, and the transit of Russian military vessels is not uncommon. The decision to shadow the Grigorovich with a Royal Navy vessel also has precedent, although it is unusual to deploy an asset as august as a Type 23 frigate in the pursuit.

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