In a radio interview on July 18, Burtsev outlined the military
assessment of the Somali piracy network. The naval deputy chief of staff
said more than 5,000 Somali pirates were based off the coast of Yemen,
divided into five groups.
The Somali piracy groups were said to cooperating in tracking and
capturing commercial vessels. Officials said the groups also worked together
to take their prey to Somalia in an attempt to win tens of millions of
dollars in ransom.
In October 2008, Russia joined a Western-led naval task force off the
coast of Somalia. So far, three Russian Navy warships — two destroyers and
a frigate — have conducted anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
Officials said Moscow would expand its anti-piracy force in the Gulf
region, with an additional destroyer to arrive in late July. They said
Russia would also establish a unit to investigate and track pirates in the
Arabian Sea and Red Sea.
"We will open criminal cases and conduct probes into crimes committed by
pirates in order to arrest them and put them on trial under Russian law,"
Alexander Bastrykin, the chief investigator in the Russian Attorney
General's office, said.