Russia launches naval exercise in Baltic Sea

“The Ocean Shield-2023 naval exercises have begun in the Baltic Sea,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, according to Press TV.
The defense ministry stated that the drills will involve the vessels of the Baltic Fleet with over 30 ships and boats along with 20 support vessels and 30 aircraft, all taking part in the military readiness exercises.
Some 6,000 navy servicemen are involved in the exercises, it added. During the drills, the Navy will practice how to protect sea lanes, transport troops and military cargo, and defend the coastline, the statement said.
“In total, it is planned to perform more than 200 combat exercises, including with the use of weapons,” it said.
Russia’s naval drills in the Baltic Sea are often in response to the US-led NATO exercises in the area.
These exercises take place amid the war with Ukraine and escalated tensions with Kiev’s European backers.
The Russian Navy, along with the other Russian Armed Forces on the Crimean Peninsula, has played a key role in implementing Moscow’s special military operation in Donbas.
The Black Sea Fleet pummeled the Western-backed country with ship- and submarine-launched cruise missiles, among other weapons.
Russia’s Baltic fleet, which was founded in 1703 under Tsar Peter the Great as part of the Imperial Russian Navy, has gained added importance recently amid Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO bids signaling the encroachments of the US-led NATO forces.

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