Soviet military base has never been established in Socotra

Советские корабли у берегов Сокотры

Contrary to popular in the West opinion, that Socotra was used as a naval base during the Cold War, it was not the case.

Indeed, it was quite possible that from 1971 the Soviet Indian Ocean 8th Squadron ships used to anchor in the territorial waters of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) near the shore of Socotra …

In May of 1980 there was conducted a combined USSR’s and PDRY’s Fleet Landing Exercise under command of Rear Admiral Mikhail Khronopulo (later on – the last Commander of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet). It was the most extensive exercise for the history of the military Soviet – South Yemen cooperation.    

But Socotra never witnessed the establishment of a Soviet naval or any other military base by reason of questionable strategic advantage, high cost and vague perspectives of the project.


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    Socotra was a refuge for pirates for centuries.