In full tension with NATO, Russia is organizing a naval, land and air military exercise in the Black Sea.
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced, Thursday, January 28, that the exercise was aimed at identifying ships sailing in the Black Sea and targets threatening Russia.
The Russian exercise, which took place off the Crimea, involved ballistic units equipped with Bal missile systems that were to first identify fictitious enemy ships before destroying them.
In addition, Sukhoi 24M and Sukhoi 30S.M bombers, deployed at a coastal naval base off the Black Sea, destroyed fictitious enemy positions.
The crew members of these planes also had to monitor the movement of enemy ships in the international waters of the Black Sea. And, Russian fighter planes flew as far as 150 kilometers from the Crimean coast.
In the aftermath, Russian fighter planes identified the American destroyer USS Donald Cook equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles that was sailing outside Russian waters. The USS Donald Cook recently arrived in the Black Sea to carry out a patrol mission.
For the first time in three years, the U.S. Navy sent three ships, including two destroyers, into the Black Sea.
The USS Porter entered the Black Sea on Thursday, less than a week after the USS Donald Cook and the refueling tanker USNS Laramie arrived on the waterway, both ready to begin a series of exercises with NATO allies.
Russia reacted quickly, moving a Bastion missile defense system into position in the Crimea and conducting military exercises.
Russia reaffirms that the actions of its military in the Black Sea are a reaction to the escalation of tension rekindled by NATO and especially the United States.
The Russian military yesterday banned 3,000 square kilometers of the Black Sea to ships and airliners without announcing the reason.
In recent years, NATO has organized dozens of military exercises not far from the Russian borders; an act of provocation that has prompted Russia to launch maneuvers as well.
by Xavier Cuesta – European Correspondent – EN