Experts: Putin’s Warships in Cuba Send Direct Warning to Biden

Russian warships have arrived in Cuban waters to conduct military exercises in the Caribbean, a move interpreted as a direct warning to President Biden after he permitted Ukrainian forces to use U.S. weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

Rebekah Koffler, a strategic intelligence analyst, suggests that Russian President Vladimir Putin is sending a message to the U.S., indicating Russia’s capability to reach American territories. This deployment comes amid heightened tensions due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has escalated following Biden’s recent decisions.

Koffler explains that Putin’s strategy involves positioning Russian military assets close to the U.S. as a direct response to the escalatory moves in Ukraine.

By stationing warships and potentially enabling Cuban forces to strike U.S. targets, Putin aims to counterbalance the threat posed by U.S.-supported Ukrainian strikes on Russian soil. This is seen as a means for Russia to project power and maintain leverage in the geopolitical struggle.

Experts Putin's Warships in Cuba Send Direct Warning to Biden
Experts Putin’s Warships in Cuba Send Direct Warning to Biden.

The Russian fleet, comprising three warships, arrived at Havana Bay and was welcomed with a 21-cannon salute. Additionally, a nuclear-powered submarine, the Kazan, is expected to join, although it reportedly does not carry nuclear weapons.

This display of military strength underscores Russia’s commitment to asserting its presence and influence in the region, aligning with Putin’s broader strategy of countering U.S. actions.

Benjamin Gedan of the Wilson Center interprets the arrival of Russian warships as a reminder to the U.S. of the consequences of foreign interference near an adversary’s territory.

It also serves to reassure Russia’s allies in the region, such as Cuba and Venezuela, of Moscow’s support. This gesture reinforces Russia’s diplomatic and military ties with countries opposed to U.S. policies.

Last week, Putin explicitly threatened to supply weapons to U.S. neighbors, suggesting that if the U.S. can arm Ukraine against Russia, then Russia has the right to arm countries near the U.S. for similar purposes.

This rhetoric follows Biden’s decision in late May to authorize Ukrainian strikes on Russian soil using American missiles, a move that has intensified the conflict. The authorization extends to Ukraine’s Azov Battalion, a group with controversial neo-Nazi affiliations, which has been a focal point of Russian propaganda efforts against Ukraine.

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