On April 17, detachment of ships of the Russian Caspian Fleet passed under the Crimean bridge across the Kerch Strait and entered the Black Sea, while earlier it was reported that Russia relocated Su-25SMZ attack aircraft to Crimea.
This was reported by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
It is reported that among the 15 warships of the Caspian Flotilla there are 3 artillery and 8 landing boats, as well as support vessels.
The ships entered the Black Sea allegedly as part of a control check during the winter training period.
“According to the plan for passing the control check, the crews of the boats of the Caspian Flotilla, in cooperation with the forces of the Black Sea Fleet, will take part in test naval exercises,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Russian Federation previously closed part of the Black Sea for the passage of foreign ships.
Four more warships of the Russian Navy entered the Black Sea the same day. The Istanbul sites reported that two large landing craft “Kaliningrad”, “Korolev” had passed the Bosphorus. Previously, “Alexander Otrakovsky” and “Kondopoga” of the Russian Northern Fleet entered the Black Sea.
Over the previous weeks, more than 50 fighters, aircraft and attack aircraft were involved in the exercises over the Black Sea, the press service of the Russian Southern Military District said.
The planes had to carry out rocket launches and bombing at sea targets. The ministry clarified that Su-27SM, Su-30SM fighters, Su-25SM3 attack aircraft and Su-24M and Su-34 bombers took part in the exercises.
Additionally, pilots from the 4th Army of the Air Force and Air Defense and the Black Sea Fleet accompany ship strike groups, and also provide security in the Black Sea as part of reconnaissance strike complexes.
During the exercise, Su-25SM3 attack aircraft from the Stavropol Territory were relocated to the airfields of the Crimea, and the Su-25SM3 squadron, based on the peninsula, to the Ashuluk training ground in the Astrakhan region.
On April 14, it was reported that a detachment of ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation went to sea for exercises.
Separately, British warships will sail for the Black Sea in May, the Sunday Times reported on April 18, citing anonymous sources.
The deployment is aimed at showing solidarity with Ukraine and Britain’s NATO allies, the newspaper reported.
One Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate will leave the Royal Navy’s carrier task group in the Mediterranean and head through the Bosphorus into the Black Sea, according to the report.
RAF F-35B Lightning stealth jets and Merlin submarine-hunting helicopters will stand ready on the task group’s flag ship, the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, to support the warships in the Black Sea.
A ministry spokesman told the newspaper that the UK government was working closely with Ukraine to monitor the situation and continued to call on Russia to de-escalate.
“The UK and our international allies are unwavering in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, the newspaper quoted the spokesman as saying.
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