The Russian destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov is visiting Cobh this weekend.
First commissioned in 1982 she was retired in 1991 and didn’t return to active duty until 2010.
As far as I can remember the last time a Russian naval vessel visited Cobh was sometime around the time the Soviet Union was beginning to fragment.
On that occasion the crew were willing to sell anything in exchange for Western goods.
The people of Cobh, in their generosity, even brought them food parcels and took groups of sailors into their homes for meals.
No such problems with the crew of the Vice-Admiral Kulakov. Every one of them seems to have a mobile phone permanently stuck to the ear, even those on duty.
And the shops in Cobh and Cork city are doing a roaring trade as the Russians buy all around them. Ah yes, capitalism is great, poor old Stalin must be rolling in his grave.
It’s also interesting to note the difference between Russian and US warships.
The American ships have very clean, sharp lines and although equipped with the latest weaponry that weaponry seems to blend into the structure of the ship making it almost invisible.
Russian vessels, on the other hand, are usually dark, threatening and bristling with very visible weaponry.
I know this is not a logical comment but I always feel that Russian ships would fare much better in a hard fought, one to one, standoff battle.
I’m told the Vice-Admiral Kulakov will be open to the public tomorrow (Sunday).
I’ll be down to have a nose around.