Disinfo: Russia forced NATO out from the Barents sea


Russia forced NATO ships to retreat from the Barents Sea, as NATO was not prepared for the unexpectedly harsh Russian response.

Russia obstructed NATO’s plans and forced their destroyers to retreat ahead of schedule.

Although the NATO military group felt “comfortable” in the Barents Sea for three days, an unpleasant surprise awaited them on the morning of May 8, as Russian naval ships began large-scale military exercises in the same area, and started firing in close proximity.

Russia’s response, which made it clear that it controlled the region, made NATO forces flee the Barents Sea ahead of schedule.


Claims without basis. There is no evidence to suggest that the NATO ships cut the exercise short because of Russia.

On Friday 8th of May, US Navy ships and a British warship wrapped up seven days of exercises and departed the Barents Sea after entering the Arctic on May 4.

The US Navy said it notified Russia's Ministry of Defense about the Barents exercise on May 1 to "avoid misperceptions, reduce risk, and prevent inadvertent escalation".

Russia said on May 4th that its Northern Fleet had "begun monitoring the US and British ships" without giving any additional information.

Russia's Ministry of Defense said that on the "eve of May 6," three Russian small anti-submarine ships sailed from the city of Polyarny to conduct "planned combat training activities in the Barents Sea", without any mention of the US and British exercises.

Russia’s Interfax reported on May 14 that the US and British ships left the marine areas beyond the Arctic Circle, with no mention of any disruption in military exercises from both sides.


  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Russian superiority, NATO


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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