Wouldn’t it be more advantageous, cheaper and politically, to just speed up the new Black Sea port?
Intimidation to others?
I still think Russia has designs on a base in Cyprus.
Intimidation has its own value, mostly domestically for Putin. He gets to look like a total badass and create the illusion that Russia is a superpower again.
But if you look beneath the surface, a good deal of it is all hat, no cattle. Their economy, aside from being a straight-up kleptocracy more akin to a vast Mafia protection racket than a free-market system, is extremely dependent on energy and resource exports. It’s a major vulnerability, economically speaking.