“In addition to three modern Chinese warships, the Dmitriy Donskoi and the Pyotr Veliky will also be taking part in a Russian-Chinese naval drill in the Baltic,” NRD reported.
As for the Dmitriy Donskoi and the Pyotr Veliky battlecruiser, they are steaming to take part in a July 30 Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg, as was correctly reported by DPA and all Russian media outlets.
Even more surprising, NRD referred to some imaginary statement by the Russian Defense Ministry, which it never made.
“Except from the territorial waters of the countries that open on it, the Baltic Sea also happens to be international waters anyone is free to sail in, including the Russian and Chinese navies,” NRD quoted a German naval inspector as saying.
The only truth in the Bild story is that the Dmitriy Donskoi is going to St. Petersburg. But even a quick look at the headline shows how far the authors have gone to bend the truth and offer a hugely exaggerated picture of what is really going on.
“A Demonstration of Force in the Baltic Sea. What is Putin’s Sub Doing Near Our Shores? NATO Reports a Growing Number of Incidents in the Air,” the Bild’s headline reads.
“This is just political muscle flexing designed for domestic consumption. Genuine patrols are done in secret,” the newspaper quotes an “expert” who seems to forget that the 172-meters-long and 28-meters-tall Dmitriy Donskoi is simply too big to cover the whole distance submerged without putting her crew at risk.
There is one thing in the newspaper’s story that really holds some water though.
Every military exercise is a demonstration of force, and this is exactly what NATO is doing near the Russian borders. Some mainstream media prefers to keep mum about this, and with pretty good reason, too. Why tell the truth?