The Russian armed forces on Tuesday launched a new series of maneuvers near Ukraine and in annexed Crimea, with exercises involving 6,000 men, fighter jets and bombers, according to Russian agencies.
• Read also: Ukraine: Kremlin accuses Washington of escalation after putting troops on alert
• Read also: Ukraine: Ottawa “extremely worried” about potential war
• Read also: Canada’s image diplomacy
It is a “joint” operation which notably involves “the air force and anti-aircraft, groups of ships from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea fleets”, said the commander of the forces. Russians for Southern Russia, Alexander Dvornikov.
According to TASS, the air force exercises involve 60 fighters and bombers in four regions, including the Crimean peninsula which Russia annexed in 2014 in retaliation for a pro-Western revolution in Ukraine.
This includes coordinating the action of the navy and the air force during missile launches.
In addition, some 6,000 men are engaged in maneuvers to check their combat readiness at several bases in several regions of southern Russia.
The announcement of these exercises comes a few hours after the Kremlin denounced the alerting of thousands of American soldiers because of the Russian-Western crisis over Ukraine, seeing it as a new “exacerbation of tensions” by Washington.