Amid the worst tensions in the conflict in Ukraine, Russia is conducting maneuvers in the Black Sea. On Monday, the Black Sea Fleet said planes, helicopters and ships were also involved. The location and destruction of the submarines was trained.
The exercise was considered preparation for a larger maneuver, as it was called. The goal is “to defend the coast of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and the naval bases against potential military threats from a potential adversary.” More than 30 warships are in use.
Ukraine has previously advised airlines to avoid skies over the Black Sea from Monday until Saturday. In light of the deployment of tens of thousands of Russian soldiers to the border with Ukraine, the US government warned Friday that Russia could attack the neighboring country before February 20. The Kremlin has strongly denied such allegations.
Russia is also currently conducting exercises in Belarus. According to both countries, exercises are taking place in the south on the Ukrainian border with the Belarusian armed forces. On Monday, Governor of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said, according to a statement issued by his office, that the decision on the exercise was taken before the outbreak of “hysteria” about it.
In response to a question about when the Russian forces will withdraw from Belarus again, he said: “We will decide it with Vladimir Putin.” According to the Kremlin, the meeting between Russian President Putin and Lukashenko is scheduled for this week. The exact day was not initially mentioned. The Kremlin had promised to withdraw its forces after the exercises.
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