- Six Russian amphibious landing ships sail in the Black Sea.
- Russia claims that these ship movements are purely for naval exercises to “protect Russian national interests in the global ocean.”
- Despite moving more than 130,000 troops to the Ukrainian border, Russia denies plans to invade Ukraine.
Six Russian amphibious assault ships are sailing in the Black Sea to take part in naval exercises, according to Russian Ministry of Defense. The move brings Russian military power closer to Ukraine as tensions persist.
Russian ships are moving in the area to “develop the actions of naval and aerospace forces to protect Russian national interests in the world ocean, as well as to counter military threats against the Russian Federation from the sea and ocean” . The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
Russia had previously announced a number of military exercises covering all areas of responsibility of the Russian fleet.
In total, Russia’s massive military exercises, which will cover several waterways around the world, not just the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, will include more than 140 warships and support ships, more than 60 aircraft, 1,000 units of unspecified military equipment and about 10,000 troops, the ministry said.
—Минобороны России (@mod_russia) February 8, 2022
The Russian landing ships Korolev, Minsk and Kaliningrad passed through the Dardanelles Strait, and the Pyotr Morgunov, Georgy Pobedonosets and Olenegorsky Gornyak will pass on Wednesday.
These military moves come as Russia has already surrounded Ukraine with more than 130,000 troops, as well as military equipment and hardware, raising fears of an invasion.
Some defense experts have suggested that a Russian invasion could involve an amphibious component, striking directly from the sea with a possible landing around Odessa. Some have suggested that Russia could deploy troops away from the main defensive force and block the movement of Ukrainian reinforcements. Others, however, consider an amphibious assault unlikely.
The Landing Ship Collection includes five Ropucha-class ships and one Ivan Gren-class landing ship. These ships can carry a dozen main battle tanks or wheeled amphibious armored personnel carriers and around 300 troops, although it is not clear if there are personnel or equipment on board. these ships.
Despite its military moves around Ukraine, Russia continues to deny any plans to invade or attack its neighbour.