Russia Begins Military Exercises in Black Sea; Threat on Ukraine Rises
- Putin led govt began a 10-day military drill in coalition with Belarus.
- More than 10,000 warships deployed in Black sea.
- France, UK and Ukraine carp the move.
Ukraine: Russia and Belarus have started 10 days of joint military drills amid ongoing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Warships arrived at a strategic port on the Black Sea, as Western diplomats seek to avert the activities which they speculate could trigger a war.
The exercises known as Allied Resolve 2022 are taking place close to the Belarusian border with Ukraine, which is a little over 1,000km (620 miles) long. A detachment of six ships arrived at the Sevastopol port in Crimea the Russian defence ministry said in a statement. More than 10,000 warships covering 7,000 nautical mile journeys have been deployed in what is called a naval exercise.
France called the drills believed to be Russia’s biggest deployment to Belarus since the Cold War-“violent gesture”. “The accumulation of forces at the border is psychological pressure from our neighbours,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday. They claimed the unprecedented activities make navigation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov virtually impossible. Kremlin spox Dmitry Peskov said Russia was staging the joint exercises with Belarus to combat “unprecedented security threats, the nature and, perhaps, concentration of which are, unfortunately, much larger and much more dangerous than before. Meanwhile, British officials have warned about the humanitarian disaster and refugee crisis that will overwhelm Europe if a Russian invasion of Ukraine actually took place.