Russian warplanes practice bombing enemy ships in Black Sea training missions as NATO nations hold military drills in region
- Russia’s Black Sea Fleet warplanes practiced bombing enemy ships on Saturday
- Exercise comes as NATO, Ukraine and allies prepare for their ‘Sea Breeze’ drills
- Moscow has called for the exercise, set to be in the Black Sea, to be cancelled
Russian warplanes practiced bombing enemy ships in the Black Sea during training exercises on Saturday amid friction with the West over NATO drills in the region.
Russia‘s Black Sea Fleet said warplanes from its aviation units and those of the southern military district had taken part in training drills.
‘Aircraft crews … conducted training flights over the Black Sea, practicing missile and bombing strikes against simulated enemy ships,’ it was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.
Russian warplanes practiced bombing enemy ships in the Black Sea during training exercises on Saturday amid friction with the West over NATO drills in the region (pictured, a Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet in July 2017)
The drills involved aircraft including Sukhoi Su-30SM multi-purpose fighters, Sukhoi Su-24M bombers, Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers and Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets, the report said.
The exercise comes as NATO, Ukraine and allies conduct their large-scale Sea Breeze drills in the region.
Those drills are set to last two weeks and involve about 5,000 military personnel from NATO and other allies, and around 30 ships and 40 aircraft, with US missile destroyer USS Ross and the US Marine Corps taking part.
The exercise comes as NATO, Ukraine and allies conduct their large-scale Sea Breeze drills in the region (pictured, Italian Navy frigate Virginia Fasan at port in Odessa, Ukraine)
Moscow has called for the exercise to be cancelled and the Russian defence ministry has said it will react to safeguard national security if necessary.
Moscow last week challenged the right of HMS Defender to pass through waters near Crimea, something London said it had every right to do.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 but most of the world still recognises it as part of Ukraine.
Moscow last week challenged the right of HMS Defender (pictured off the coast of Georgia on June 26, three days after the Black Sea crisis) to pass through waters near Crimea, something London said it had every right to do
Moscow said one of its warships fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs in the path of Britain’s Defender on June 23 to force it from an area near Crimea that Moscow claims as its territorial water
Russia said the vessel had illegally entered its territorial waters and accused London of a ‘provocation’.
Britain insisted its ship wasn’t fired upon and that it was sailing in Ukrainian waters.
Moscow has said it could bomb British naval vessels if there are more such actions by the British navy off Crimea.
In a video released by Putin’s regime, three shots each with two shells are seen fired as warning shots, by which time HMS Defender is visible but at a long distance away