On April 11, locals shared online photos and videos of the warships of the Russian Caspian Flotilla in Rostov-on-Don region, near the town of Alexandrovka. According to the press service of the Southern Military District, more than 10 Russian assault landing vessels and gun-boats go from the Caspian to the Black Sea to participate in joint military exercises.
“According to the plan for passing the control check, the crews of the boats, in cooperation with the forces of the Black Sea Fleet, will take part in offset naval exercises,” the message says. “By order of the commander of the Southern Military District, General of the Army Alexander Dvornikov, units of the marines and coastal forces of the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla were involved to check the readiness to repel sea and air assault forces.”
#Russie 🇷🇺 | Les bateaux de débarquement ont été filmés traversant le réservoir d’eau Tsimlyansk dans la région de Volgodonsk. La vidéo a été filmée le 9 avril à 9 heure du matin. https://t.co/T2HUeDDQyw pic.twitter.com/hbU1V0KUd3
— C O U P S U R E (@COUPSURE) April 12, 2021
Two days before, Turkey sent a notice to the participants of the Montreux Convention, saying that US warships will pass through Bosphorus from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea and vice versa.
According to US Navy Sixth Fleet spokesman Kyle Raines, on April 14 and 15, as part of the large-scale NATO military exercises Defender Europe 2021, two US destroyers with missile weapons, presumably USS Roosevelt and USS Donald Cook, are expected to enter the Black Sea. This move is primarily aimed to demonstrate support for Ukraine. According to the deputy head of the press service of the US State Department, Jalin Porter, they will be in the Black Sea area until May 4.
It is not for the first time US warships navigate through the Black Sea. Since 2014, they have been going to Ukrainian port of Odessa on a regular basis. According to an American source, the US Navy regularly sends its fleet there, but such a step at the moment would mean a “special message” for the Russian Federation.
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov commented on the issue: “Passes of U.S. ships to the Black Sea are accompanied by aggressive rhetoric, Moscow doesn’t understand what are Washington’s purposes in Ukraine”.
At the moment, it is not likely that any of the sides of the conflict would launch a military escalation in the Black Sea, since Russia has a large military fleet there, and the U.S. and NATO naval capabilities are not sufficient in the region. Moreover, the Bosphorus is still under the regulation of the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits.
The ongoing claims and threats from Washington to send its warships to the Black Sea are likely nothing more but an empty bluster. Meanwhile, Russia uses chance to strengthen its military capabilities in the Black Sea region.
The United States, in its turn, uses other ways to support its allies in Kiev. At least two US Air Force C-130J Hercules military cargo aircraft arrived in Kiev over the last 24 hours from US military base in Stuttgart and from Riga.
Previously, at least three military transport aircraft of the US Air Force have arrived in Ukraine in the beginning of April, according to data from aviation observers.
NATO military instructors are also reportedly involved in trainings of Ukrainian snipers. One of such training camps was established in Mariupol next to the front lines, according to Donetsk military intelligence.
Thus, Kiev’s main allies, primarily the U.S. and Turkey, are ready to support Ukrainian military by sending equipment and giving advises. The main tool of their support are loud claims and political accusations towards Russia. However, no NATO member state will let its soldier die in Eastern Ukraine or in the Black Sea.
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