Thursday, June 12, 2014

Russia holds massive military drills in Kalinigrad region

Russia has airlifted 200 paratroopers and 30 military vehicles to its westernmost enclave of Kaliningrad amid the ongoing NATO war games in Europe, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday. "Il-76 planes have airlifted some 200 paratroopers and over 30 military vehicles to Kaliningrad, including air-droppable vehicles, such as infantry fighting vehicles BMD-2, armored personnel carriers BTR-2, Kamaz and Ural cars," the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry said.

On Wednesday, the Russian military announced the launch of a deployment operation that involved paratrooper units from the Pskov airborne division.
The 200 paratroopers are to take part in the drills in the country's Baltic territory at the same time as NATO is conducting its own exercises "Saber Strike-2014 and Baltops-2014" across the border.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a German Navy surveillance ship, the Alster, has been spotted spying on the Russian drills.
The war games in the Kaliningrad region involve 24 combat and auxiliary ships from Russia's Baltic Fleet and Air Force units from the Western military district.
The Defense Ministry earlier said that the number of troops deployed by Russia for Kaliningrad military exercises is comparable to the ongoing NATO drills in terms of the number of personnel and military hardware.
Following Crimea's reunification with Russia, NATO has been flexing its military muscle near the Russian border.
Moscow has repeatedly expressed concerns with the West's aggressive pressure on Russia.
Russia deploys 24 warships for Baltic Sea drills
Russia has deployed a grouping of 24 Baltic Fleet warships and vessels for military drills in the westernmost Kaliningrad Region, the Russian Defense Ministry's press office said on Wednesday.
Russia started on Tuesday military exercises of the Baltic Fleet, Airborne Troops and Air Force in the Kaliningrad Region, its exclave on the Baltic Sea coast.
"The squadrons of warships are performing the tasks of ensuring the protection of the state border of the Russian Federation, protecting marine communications, providing for shipping safety, organizing air defense, searching for and detecting surface ships and submarines of the imaginary enemy," Russia's Defense Ministry said.
The exercises are taking place simultaneously with NATO's international drills Saber Strike 2014 and BALTOPS 2014.
"The units of Russia's Baltic Fleet, Airborne Troops and Air Force are currently completing their redeployment to the designated areas and launching their planning and preparation for joint actions," the Defense Ministry said.
Russia's newest Steregushchy class (Project 20380) stealth corvette Soobrazitelny has live-fired surface-to-air missiles that have successfully hit the surface targets, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
"The coastal troops of the Baltic Fleet's marine infantry have made marches to the designated areas where they have started to equip field control posts and fortification facilities, practice tactical measures for defending the coastline against the imaginary enemy's amphibious assault, blocking and destroying illegal armed formations," the Defense Ministry said.
"The number of the Russian Defense Ministry's troops and equipment involved in the drills is equitable with the number of personnel, armaments and military hardware employed in border exercises being conducted by NATO countries," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Russian maneuvers involve vessel groups, Airborne Troops and Marine Corps units, Air Force formations, Sukhoi Su-34 (Fullback) fighter-bombers, Mil Mi-24 (Hind) helicopters and Tupolev Tu-22M3 (Backfire) bombers, the ministry said.
NATO drills Saber Strike 2014 are taking place on the territory of three Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) on June 9-20, and BALTOPS 2014 in the Baltic Sea from June 6 to 21, TASS reports.

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