Russia announced on Wednesday the start of military exercises in the Baltic Sea in which will be displayed some 50 ships and dozens of planes in a context of growing tensions with European countries over the conflict in Ukraine.
“The exercises Marine Shield 2023 began in the Baltic Sea under the leadership of the Commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov”, said the Ministry of Defense in a statement in which it informed that they will be deployed 30 warships, 20 supply ships, 30 aircraft and 6,000 troops.
During the exercises, the navy will practice the protection of sea laneshe troop carrier and military charge and the coast defensein reference to kaliningradthe Russian enclave in the Baltic.
“It is planned to carry out more than 200 exerciseswhich include the practical use of weapons,” said Defense.
The Russian navy has played a key role in Moscow’s assault on Ukraine, stoking the Western-backed country with cruise missiles launched from ships and submarinesamong other weapons.
Moscow had already carried out some exercises in the area in June 2023, although then they were smaller.
These naval maneuvers are taking place in the context of the war in Ukraine, which has deepened Russia’s tensions with Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estoniaand provoked applications for admission from Sweden and Finlandtraditionally neutral, to the NATO.
Moscow looks at the Baltic with concern, since all these countries, along with Germany and DenmarkThey have access to that sea. Russia, on the other hand, has only a small outlet in kaliningrad and over the northernmost of the Baltic republics, Estonia.
New wave of attacks against Ukraine
The announcement about the maneuvers comes after a new wave of russian drone strikes against the capital of the country, kyiv, the port and industrial infrastructure of the region of Odessaon the shores of the Black Sea, and a grain silo in en izmail, on the Danube. The attacks have produced no casualties.
The President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenskydescribed as “threat to everyone, on every continent” those attacks and accused Russia of “terrorism”.
“Russian terrorists once again attacked ports, cereals and world food security,” the Ukrainian leader wrote through his Telegram account, as reproduced by the portal ukrinform.
Zelensky went on to stress that “all of our operational services functioned effectively” and asked for an international “response”since the threat and the attacks affect the transport of cereals to the whole world.
Ever since it left the grain deal, Russia has been attacking the Ukrainian port infrastructuresomething that already began to affect the alternative route through the Danube.
“Ukrainian cereals can feed millions of people around the world,” denounced the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on Twitter and accused Russia of “choosing the path of slaughterhe hunger and the terrorism”.
(With information from AFP and EFE)
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