The American cruiser Chancellorsville unexpectedly approached the Russian anti-submarine ship Almirante Vinogradov at a distance of 50 meters. As a result, the Russian ship had to maneuver to avoid the possible collision. Who is to blame for this situation?
Although the spokesman of the 7th Fleet, Clayton Doss, declared that the navigation of the Russian ship was unsafe and unprofessional, the video published by the US Navy itself shows the contrary.
Admiral Vinogradov was on the starboard side of Chancellorsville. Therefore, it was the American ship that had to let Admiral Vinogradov pass. The Russian admiral and former commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Vladimir Komoedov told the Russian newspaper Vzglyad that the ships often change their trajectories at a distance of 3.7 kilometers.
“Here the rule works: ‘protect your starboard’, that is, if an obstacle is on your starboard you have to give way or change course or stop and not cross the path of the other ship,” he explained.
Komoedov believes that the publication of the video of the incident could represent a gross political move by the Pentagon.
“It’s a sign that says Americans are going to approach not only Russian planes, but they will do the same maneuvers at sea, and their dangerous action means that they believe they own the sky and the ocean,” he said.
In these circumstances an obvious question arises, why a military vessel approached another at such a small distance in the open sea?
“The famous British captain Richard Cahill once said: ‘No sensible sailor would approach a ship if there is enough space in the water,'” recalled the president of the Far Eastern Association of Captains, Piotr Osichanskiy.
According to Osichanskiy, the approach at a distance of 50 meters is dangerous and could signal a “carelessness of the crew or a provocation”.
In turn, the Russian captain Mikhail Nenashev believes that the crew of the American ship behaved in a blatant manner to create this dangerous situation.
“It is an attempt by his captain and crew to teach his supremacy at sea, and the commander of the Russian ship did not commit any infraction,” Nenashev said.