The Havana harbour is now home to four Russian naval ships. Among them are the nuclear powered Kazan submarine and Admiral Gorshkov frigate. This occurrence is seen as Russia trying to assert its power amidst the Ukraine issue.

Russian Naval Ships Reach Cuban Waters

The vessel’s anchorage point sits about 90 miles from Florida in the USA. Numerous individuals witnessed their entry into the harbour, a sight made grand with a 21 gun salute.

  • Frigate named Admiral Gorshkov
  • Kazan – a nuclear powered submarine
  • Pashin – an oil tanker belonging to the fleet
  • Nikolai Chiker a salvage tugboat

Russia claims that these ships hold highly developed weapons such as Zircon missiles. The fleet carried out missile drills in the Atlantic ocean before progressing towards Cuba.

Reaction and Observation from US Officials

American authorities watched over this visit carefully and claimed that the submarine was not carrying nuclear weapons. They followed its progress using underwater drones as it approached Cuban waters. However, many consider their arrival an intentional sign of uncooperativeness from Moscow towards Washington.

Professor William Leogrande from American University believes Putin uses these visits to remind Biden that Moscow too can affect Washington where it counts.

The timing also draws attention due to Cuba’s current severe social and economic crisis, with increasing shortages of food, fuel, medicines and rising public dissatisfaction.

Impact on Relations Between US and Cuba

The docking of these ships brings back memories of Cold War tension. Yet the motivation now is largely economic rather than ideological. In the past, Russia has often sent warships to Cuba as an ally.

Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser discussed this event by saying “We have seen this kind of thing before”.

He refers to the recurring presence of Russian naval vessels in Cuban waters but also says the US has seen no direct threat from them.

  • In response, the US has positioned three destroyers, a Coast Guard cutter and a plane for maritime surveillance.
  • Russian ships may make their next stop at a port in Venezuela.

Past Influences and Strategic Impact

This event takes us back to times during the Cold War when the Soviet Union had strong influence over this region. The fact that Kazan can launch Zircon missiles at speeds nine times greater than sound shows us Russia’s military strength.

New moves made by the Kremlin are challenging Washington’s position in its local surroundings. This comes at a time when the Biden administration is considering increasing support for Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez helps demonstrate their strong ties.

Cuban Point Of View And Future Strategies

The Cuban government views these naval visits as regular events as part of ongoing military teamwork. Authorities assured that these ships are not carrying nuclear weapons nor pose threats to regional safety.

Moving forward we can expect the Russian fleet conducting more military practices within Caribbean Sea boundaries. These actions will be extended to other socialist allies like Venezuela, this further showcases Russia’s wish to maintain its power and hold over the Western Hemisphere.


The presence of Russian warships at Havana harbour is a powerful indicator of Moscow’s strategic motivations. It’s also a reminder of the currently complex global political dynamics. This manoeuvre suggests the possibility of conflicts, thus emphasising the need for maintaining careful international diplomacy.


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