The United States and its allies have begun a large-scale naval drill in the Black Sea.
Despite Russia’s protests, a total of 32 countries launched military exercises in the Black Sea on Monday.
The “Sea Breeze” drills are being led by the United States and Ukraine. According to the US military, they are expected to last two weeks.
The exercises were described as a provocation by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which said they were being used to move weapons and military equipment into Ukraine.
Exercises in the military and ties with Russia
The drills take place just days after Moscow announced that its navy had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the direction of a British warship near the coast of Crimea in order to chase it out of Black Sea waters.
Russia claimed the British navy ship had entered its territorial waters without permission. The ship was making “an innocent voyage through Ukrainian territorial seas in conformity with international law,” according to the UK, which refuted Moscow’s description of the incident.
In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Many countries throughout the world, however, do not acknowledge the annexation and consider the region to be part of Ukraine.
What is the size of the Sea Breeze exercises?
This year’s drills are being held in 32 countries across six continents. This is the most people who have ever participated in the drills, which have been held yearly since 1997.
This year’s deployment includes around 5,000 personnel, 32 ships and 40 aircraft, as well as 18 special operations and dive teams.
Among other things, they are said to concentrate on amphibious warfare, dive operations, air defense, and anti-submarine warfare.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian navy closely monitored the US destroyer USS Ross as it entered the Black Sea on Saturday.