Russia's "exercise" in the Black Sea, missiles launched

Military "exercise" carried out by Russian forces in the northwestern part of the Black Sea

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A military "exercise" was conducted by Russian forces in the northwestern Black Sea, Moscow said today, saying surface-to-surface missiles were fired to strike a target at sea.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, ships of the Black Sea Fleet fired cruise missiles at a "target vessel in a firing range in the northwestern part of the Black Sea", where Moscow said on Thursday that it would consider ships moving towards Ukraine "potential military targets".

"Telemetry data and video surveillance from unmanned aerial vehicles confirmed the success of the exercise. The target vessel was destroyed when it was hit by a missile," Moscow said.

The Russian Defense Ministry also said that the fleet's air force, in coordination with ships, "worked" to take "actions to temporarily block the zone closed to navigation" and "contain" the target vessel.

The day before Wednesday, the Kremlin announced that starting Thursday it will consider ships moving towards Ukraine in the Black Sea as "potential military ships" and the countries whose flags are flown by parties involved in the conflict.

Sectors "in the northwestern and southeastern international waters of the Black Sea have been temporarily declared dangerous for transit," he added.

Tensions soared again in the Black Sea after Russia this week pulled out of a July 2022 deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations that allowed for the safe export of Ukrainian grain through safe sea lanes, seen as critical to global food supplies.

Source: APE – BEE – AFP