Moscow is conducting aerial exercises involving missile launches and bomber movements over the contested region. Currently, 50 Russian fighters, bombers, and attack aircraft are taking part in “exercises over the Black Sea”. A report by Russian independent news agency Interfax said the war games held by Moscow are likely to exacerbate tensions in the region.
Involved in the aerial drills were Russian-made Su-27SM and Su-30SM fighters, Su-24M and Su-34 bombers, and Su-25SM3 attack aircraft.
The report by Interfax said: “During the exercises, the planes will perform missile launches and bombardment of naval targets.
Both the Russian air force and the Russian Black Sea Fleet are set to also perform, “tasks to accompany ship strike groups and actions as part of reconnaissance strike complexes while ensuring security in the Black Sea”.
The military war games have seen involvement from naval aircraft and helicopters from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
The naval deployment from Moscow also involves the Admiral Makarov frigate, that is equipped with Caliber cruise missiles.
The Grayvoron and Vyshny Volochek small missile ships have also been sent to the region.
Russia is also deploying their Samum hovercraft and the Ivan Golubets minesweeper to the Black Sea region near Crimea.
On Tuesday Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu said these naval and aerial exercises were in response to threats from NATO.
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In July 2014 298 people were killed after Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-flight MH17 was shot down by pro-Russian rebels operating out of eastern Ukraine.
The show of force from Vladimir Putin comes as intelligence suggests Russia is massing its military might close to the Ukrainian frontier.
Now Russian military videos have depicted a detachment of warships of the Russian navy moving from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea.
This is the first time a large number of naval vessels have made the move from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea since Soviet times.
There have been more intelligence reports showing Russian troops moving by rail in Krasnodar, Rostov, and Bryansk regions, near the Ukrainian border.
Now almost 100,000 Russian troops are believed to be massed on the border with Ukraine.