NEW AXIS OF EVIL? Moscow’s Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday that Russian leader Vladimir Putin plans to hold naval drills in the Atlantic, Arctic, Mediterranean and the Pacific oceans this month and next, alongside China and Iran.
These exercises, including those on land in Belarus, will essentially encircle Europe at the time when Russia is also amassing 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders for a potential invasion.
NDTV reported that:
The war games will involve “more than 140 warships and support vessels, more than 60 aircraft, 1,000 pieces of military equipment, and about 10,000 servicemen,” the defence ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.
“The exercises extend to the seas bordering Russian territory and to operationally significant areas of the world’s oceans,” the Belarusian Defense Ministry said.
The Bharat Express News added that, “Besides the North Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk in the Arctic and the northern regions of the Atlantic were also mentioned.”
Simultaneously, a “Russian offensive to encircle Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, now appears to be a realistic possibility,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
According to Germany’s Bild newspaper, a massive exercise has already launched in the Gulf of Oman, and Northern Indian Ocean south of Iran, with China and Iran, which will continue until next Saturday.
NDTV also noted that:
Since coming to office last June, Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi has pursued a “look east” policy to deepen ties with China and Russia. Tehran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in September, a central Asian security body led by Beijing and Moscow.
Additionally, reported The Sun:
Over the coming weeks, war games with Putin ally Belarus will include more than 140 warships and support vessels – as well as 60 aircraft, 1,000 pieces of military equipment – and around 10,000 servicemen, the defence ministry said.
Deputy Russian Defence Minister Alexander Fomin claims the purpose of the drills is to protect national interests in the oceans and to “protect the interests” of Russia and its ally Belarus.
Adding to Putin’s threatening actions, on Thursday, Moscow also test-fired a nuclear-capable Kalibr cruise missile from a submarine at a land-based target in the Sea of Japan. ADN