'NATO ships' funeral, a missile salvo away'
NATO's naval squad is no match for Russia's Black Sea Fleet and would fall to pieces should the fleet launch a 'single missile salvo.'
Former Russian commander Admiral Eduard Baltin said "a single missile salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or three missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group."
The one-time fleet commander was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying that the NATO squad looked better than they fought. "Despite the apparent strength" the 10-pieace NATO armada in the Black Sea "is not battle-worthy."
He noted that the entire squadron could only brave the Black Sea Fleet for '20 minutes' adding that the NATO sailors would be "people with suicidal tendencies," if they lead a charge towards the Russian warships.
While the conflict-ridden Georgia lies within the 900-kilometer (560-mile) reach of the NATO drill's whereabouts, the alliance keeps billing the measure as only a routine exercise.
The time, however, seems inappropriate for such a potentially problematic move as, off the Georgian coast, the Russian warships have been tasked with keeping an eye on the powder keg of a situation in Georgia's violence-stricken province of South Ossetia.