"During the trip, we detected presence of 50-60 NATO ships close to us. In some places, we were followed up simultaneously by 10-11 [NATO ships]," Artamonov said in an interview with the Russian Argumenty i Fakty newspaper.
Russia's naval group, consisting of the Admiral Kuznetsov, the Pyotr Veliky battle cruiser, the Severomorsk and the Admiral Kulakov anti-submarine destroyer, and support vessels, left for Syria in October 2016 to participate in counterterrorism operations.
On January 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the group to return to Russia's Northern Fleet base after a new Syrian ceasefire was announced on December 29. The group returned to the base on February 8.
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