3 votes

Russia's Surprise Military Exercises Alarm Black Sea Neighbors

arch 29, 2013 - 11:48am, by Joshua Kucera

Russia's Surprise Military Exercises Alarm Black Sea Neighbors
Russian Ministry of Defense

Russia's Black Sea Fleet taking part in military exercises this week.

Russia's surprise, large-scale military exercises on the Black Sea are raising alarm among some of its neighbors. Russian President Vladimir Putin sprung the exercises on his military at 4 am Thursday and showed up in person, along with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, to observe the exercises on Friday. The exercises involve around 30 warships, 7,000 servicemembers and various armored vehicles and artillery.

But the Black Sea is a complex geopolitical environment: Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based in Sevastopol, in on-again-off-again ally Ukraine. NATO members Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania also have naval forces on the sea, as of course does Russia's foe Georgia. So the international response to the exercise wasn't entirely positive. As RT put it, "The Russian naval drills came as a surprise not only to the Russian armed forces, but also for neighboring countries’ militaries as well, which were forced to rub sleep from their eyes and rush to their duties as up to 30 Russian battleships left port."

Russian officials pointed out that there is nothing to prevent them from conducting these sorts of surprise drills. “According to international practice, exercises involving up to 7,000 people do not require us to inform our partners in advance,” said Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

read more http://www.eurasianet.org/node/66761

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

If they were surprised

then this is not a normal occurrence. I wonder if all the major players are flexing their muscles before Act III.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.