Thirty years ago, Russia's supremacy in the Caspian Sea was unquestioned. Even with the independence of new countries with their own navies in the early 1990s, Russia and its Caspian Flotilla had little to fear.
But as the 21st century enters its third decade, the Caspian Sea might not be a Russian-dominated lake for much longer.
"The Russians equip these small ships with long-range land-attack and anti-ship missile systems, and they really punch above their weight and size," Jeffrey Edmonds, a research scientist and Russia expert at the CNA think tank, told Insider.
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