A leading presenter for RT Murad Gazdiev ruthlessly mocked Britain’s naval powers in a video for the Russian broadcaster. This comes after Britain’s HMS Defender was “chased out of Crimea waters” by Russian military aircraft and vessels last month. In response, the Russians claimed they had dropped bombs and fired warning shots to persuade the British to alter course.
It emerged this week that this Royal Navy destroyer is in fact the only remaining warship in operation.
Mr Gazdiev mocked last month’s encounter, saying that it was the result of “a British captain itching for an excuse to antagonise the Russians”.
The social media post that accompanied the video read: “UK’s Royal Navy has only ONE operational destroyer
“Britain once had the most powerful navy in the world.
“Now its marine forces are in an apparently pitiful state, with only one of the navy’s six destroyers currently in a fit state to be deployed.”
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Mr Gazdiev continued: “A big splash but it was bravado.
“The supposed show of force symbolised by the HMS Defender sailing into Russian gun ranges was actually a bluff as it emerged that all other destroyers were in for repairs.
“It’s a good thing it didn’t break down in Russian seas! The last thing it needs is a Russian tugboat coming to its rescue. Or a Chinese one.”
He then turned to Defence Minister Ben Wallace’s announcement that the UK will keep two warships permanently in East Asia in a warning shot to China.
Tory MP Tobias Ellwood said the lack of operational navy ships proves that Britain needed a bigger navy.
He said earlier this week: “It’s an operational concern. HMS Defender is now our only currently operating Type 45.
“If that ship experiences propulsion problems, which we have seen across the Type 45 family, then the carrier strike group will be forced to lean on a NATO ally to ensure we have destroyer protection.
“That really indicates the bottom line is we need a bigger navy.”