Russian warships en route to Syria set to pass through English Channel today

Handout photo issued by the Mininstry of Defence of HMS Duncan (centre), observing Russian Kirov Class Battlecruiser (left) and Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which are part of a Russian task group, during transit through the North Sea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 20, 2016. PPP-161021-083510001
Handout photo issued by the Mininstry of Defence of HMS Duncan (centre), observing Russian Kirov Class Battlecruiser (left) and Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which are part of a Russian task group, during transit through the North Sea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 20, 2016. PPP-161021-083510001

Engine woes end mission

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A RUSSIAN taskforce being shadowed by the Royal Navy as it travels to Syria is expected to pass through the English Channel today.

The flotilla of warships, including the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, has been closely followed en route to the eastern Mediterranean.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan sailed from Portsmouth on Tuesday to ‘man-mark’ the Kuznetsov group, heading south through the North Sea and English Channel.

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Revealed: The Russian warships being tracked by the Royal Navy

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It comes as Theresa May tells European leaders they must act to stop Russia’s appalling behaviour in Syria amid fears some countries are dragging their feet.

The Prime Minister wants the EU to send a ‘robust united message’ to Moscow over its bombing campaign supporting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

Mrs May is telling counterparts the current assault on Aleppo is ‘particularly horrific’ and Russia’s actions have ‘undermined the West’s efforts’ to provide a political settlement, according to No 10 sources.

They said Mrs May is warning leaders they ‘must be ready to take steps to change Russia’s approach and the way it thinks about this if we are ever to bring an end to the violence in Syria’.

Although the EU did impose sanctions on Russia following the conflict in eastern Ukraine it has failed to act over Moscow’s military intervention in Syria.

Mrs May is urging EU leaders to look for ways to ‘keep up the pressure by remaining open minded, by being willing to consider things’.

Travel bans on military leaders behind the atrocities and sanctions are among the powers the EU could use on Russia.