Videos: Russian Warships Take to Seas for Massive Drills Amid Seething Regional Tensions

© Photo : Russian Defence Ministry / Go to the mediabankMarshal Ustinov guided-missile cruiser joins a naval exercise held by the Russian Northern Fleet in the Barents Sea, in Severomorsk, Russia
Marshal Ustinov guided-missile cruiser joins a naval exercise held by the Russian Northern Fleet in the Barents Sea, in Severomorsk, Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.01.2022
NATO has been expanding its military footprint in Eastern Europe and delivering arms and trainers to Kiev after spending months accusing Russia of making preparations to “invade” Ukraine. Moscow has dismissed the claims, and accused the Western alliance of deliberately ramping up tensions to justify its eastward advance.
Over twenty warships from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet took to the seas for large-scale drills on Wednesday, with warships, fast attack craft and support vessels leaving their ports in Sevastopol and Novorossiysk and transiting to their designated areas.
Footage published by the Defence Ministry shows large warships including the Kalibr-armed Admiral Essen frigate and the Buyan-class Ingushetiya corvette at sea, with small missile ships, landing craft, anti-submarine warships and minesweepers grouped into heterogeneous groupings, naval strike groups and landing detachments also involved in the exercises.
The Defence Ministry says the Black Sea drills will involve communications exercises, maneuvering in areas of intensive maritime navigation and the organization of air defences.
Also Wednesday, ships of the Russian Northern Fleet left port for drills in the Barents Sea alongside the Arctic Expeditionary Group. Those drills will involve the Marshal Ustinov missile cruiser, the Admiral of the Fleet Kasatonov frigate, and the Vice Admiral Kulakov large anti-submarine ship, as well as supply vessels. The Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the large landing ship Ivan Gren are also taking part.
The Barents Sea maneuvers will include drills aimed at ensuring the security of the sea lanes and areas of maritime economic significance in Russia’s northern waters in the event of a crisis, according to the military. A total over nearly 1,200 sailors and officers, over 140 pieces of military equipment, up to 20 aircraft and nearly 30 warships, submarines and supply vessels are set to be involved in those exercises.
Wednesday’s Black and Barents Sea deployments are part of a wider series of large scale, Navy-wide exercises taking place January and February under the command of Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Evmenov. The drills are expected to cover all waters adjacent to Russia, as well as operationally significant areas in the world oceans. Exercises will take place in the Mediterranean Sea, the North and Okhotsk Seas, the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. In all, over 140 warships and support vessels, over 60 aircraft, 1,000 pieces of military equipment and about 10,000 sailors and officers will be involved.
On Monday, the Defence Ministry reported that twenty warships from the Baltic Sea left port for maneuvers as part of the wider planned exercises, with minesweepers, small anti-submarine ships, and small missile ships operating in tactical groups and training in anti-ship, anti-aircraft and anti-mine operations.
Ukrainian helicopters fly over a Russian warship  during Sea Breeze 2021 maneuvers, in the Black Sea, Friday, July 9, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
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