Russia holds “invasion of Ukraine” exercises with 40 warships and 30 planes in massive show of force in Black Sea

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RUSSIA organized massive “invasion” exercises in Crimea with more than 40 warships and 30 jets participating in a terrifying show of force.

The war games involved missile launches, training bombardments and mock landings with footage broadcast by Defense Ministry TV station Zvezda.

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Helicopters flying over a huge Russian warship during exercisesCredit: Getty
Large landing ship Saratov participates in exercise in Crimea

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Large landing ship Saratov participates in exercise in CrimeaCredit: Getty
Several tanks land on the beach during the war games

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Several tanks land on the beach during the war gamesCredit: Getty
Russian soldiers operate a drone

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Russian soldiers operate a droneCredit: Getty

It is the latest in a succession of major military exercises ordered by Putin this year.

A Russian military spokesperson said the forces carried out “mock hostilities” involving “fictitious armed groups that entered (Crimea) with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks and destabilizing the situation in other areas. of the Southern Federal District ”.

“Coastal troops of the Black Sea Fleet developed practical actions to secure the anti-sabotage defense of part of the coast and fought with naval assault groups and naval landing forces,” said a statement from the Black Sea Fleet.

Among the participating ships was the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva, while the Kamov Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters were also on display.

A Russian defense source said: “The militants were stranded by the forces of the corps motorized rifle units with the support of the tactical airborne assault forces.”

Reports said the exercises involved some 8,000 troops and around 500 military vehicles.

Forpost and Orlan-10 military drones were deployed in the exercises.

The show of force was part of the large-scale military operations of the Southern Military District, including Russian troops based in Abkhazia, Armenia and South Ossetia, as well as the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla.

Crimea was annexed to Ukraine by Russia in 2014.

In June, Russia opened fire when the Royal Naval HMS Defender’s destroyer sailed near Crimea in a deliberate act of support for Ukraine.

An FSB Security Coast Guard vessel fired at the British warship, claiming the vessel had been in Russian territorial waters.

Moscow also claimed to have dropped bombs from a Su-24 fighter jet in an attempt to push the British ship away from the Crimean coast.

A major diplomatic incident ensued in which Boris Johnson defended the show of support for Ukraine as “quite right”.

But there were Russian threats of sinking the next Royal Navy warship to sail in the same waters.

Raptor patrol boats participate in the exercises

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Raptor patrol boats participate in the exercisesCredit: Getty
About 8,000 soldiers participated in the war games

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About 8,000 soldiers participated in the war gamesCredit: Getty

It comes as China appears to have taken the lead in the hypersonic arms race as world powers battle for the next generation of nuclear weapons.

The revelations that Beijing has flown a nuclear-capable missile around the world challenge other nations chasing hypersonics, including the United States, Russia and North Korea.

U.S. intelligence services were reportedly stunned after China launched a rocket into space carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle that circled the planet before heading for its target.

The next generation of weapons can reach speeds of up to 21,000 mph – and potentially even faster – and are seen as a devastating new frontier for war.

China – followed closely by Russia – was already considered to have the most powerful hypersonic missile arsenals, dumping billions of dollars, but others were seen as catching up.

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