The Jerusalem Post
Russian navy conducts live fire drill in Black Sea
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian warships have carried out a live fire training exercise in the Black Sea, the country’s Black Sea fleet said on Thursday, as Ukraine and NATO countries held military drills in the same wider area.
The Sea Breeze drills, led by Ukraine and the United States, follow a spike in tensions between NATO and Moscow after Russia last week said it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to expel it from its territorial waters near Crimea.
London said it did not recognize Moscow’s account of the incident near the peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Moscow had called for the Sea Breeze exercise to be canceled before it began, and the Russian defense ministry has said it will react to safeguard national security if necessary.
Russia’s Black Sea fleet said in a statement on Thursday carried by the Interfax news agency that the crews of two large landing ships had fired at sea and air targets in the Black Sea.
The drill came two days after Russia tested its air defense systems in Crimea.