News ID: 318201
Published: 0302 GMT November 24, 2021

Russia, Ukraine step up military alert with combat drills

Russia, Ukraine step up military alert with combat drills
AIR FORCE COMMAND OF UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES

A Ukrainian Air Force fighter jet takes off during a drill in Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine on November 23, 2021.

Russia staged military drills in the Black Sea, south of Ukraine, on Wednesday and said it needed to sharpen the combat-readiness of its conventional and nuclear forces because of heightened NATO activity near its borders.

Ukraine, which with its ally the United States has claimed it believes Russia may be preparing an invasion, staged exercises of its own near the border with Belarus, Reuters reported.

The increase of military activity on both sides follows weeks of rising tension that have raised the risk of war between the two neighbours, even though Western intelligence sources have told Reuters they do not see any invasion as imminent.

The United States and NATO have signalled their backing for Ukraine in ways that Moscow considers provocative, including through warship manoeuvres this month in the Black Sea and a delivery of U.S. patrol boats to the Ukrainian Navy.

Russian fighter planes and ships practiced repelling air attacks on naval bases and responding with airstrikes during military drills on Wednesday in the Black Sea, Interfax reported.

Separately, the news agency quoted Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying the need for Russia to further develop its armed forces was dictated by "the complicated military and political conditions in the world and the growing activity of NATO countries near Russia's borders".

He said raising the armed forces' capabilities, supporting the combat readiness of nuclear forces and strengthening the potential of non-nuclear deterrence were among the priorities.

Shoigu on Tuesday complained that U.S. bombers had rehearsed a nuclear strike on Russia from two different directions earlier this month and complained that the planes had come too close the Russian border, drills the Pentagon said had adhered to international protocols.

Ukraine on Wednesday held what it called a "special operation" at the border with Belarus, including drone exercises and military drills for anti-tank and airborne units.

It has deployed 8,500 extra troops to its border with Belarus, saying it fears being drawn into the migrant crisis, which has seen the European Union accuse Minsk of flying in people from the Middle East and pushing them to enter neighbouring Poland. Belarus denies fomenting the crisis.

The head of Ukraine's military intelligence claimed this weekend that Russia had more than 92,000 troops massed around Ukraine's borders and was preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February.

Moscow has dismissed such suggestions as inflammatory, said it was not threatening anyone and defended its right to deploy its troops as it wished.

 

 

 

 

 

   
KeyWords
 
Comments
Comment
Name:
Email:
Comment:
Security Key:
Captcha refresh
Page Generated in 0/1760 sec