Some military drills ‘ending’ – Russia
Moscow has wrapped up a number of large-scale military exercises across the country, with more drills expected to end shortly, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
The Army and Navy drills, which have been held across Russia, have checked the readiness of almost each and every military district of the country, Shoigu said.
“The large-scale exercises are taking place in the Western Military District, in almost all fleets – in the Barents Sea, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Pacific Fleet,” Shoigu stated. “Troops from almost every military district, including the Eastern Military District, the Central Military District, and the Northern Fleet, are taking part in them.”
Some of the exercises “are coming to an end” already, the minister added, with further events expected to conclude shortly as well. According to Shoigu, the Russian military honed its skills in various operational areas, training to counter potential adversaries in “both surface and underwater environments.”
Speaking to Putin on Monday, the minister also disclosed details of the incident involving a foreign submarine during the Pacific Fleet’s drills off the Kuril Islands on Saturday. The submarine was detected in Russian territorial waters close to the small uninhabited island of Urup.
The Russian Navy chased the submarine, that “highly likely” belonged to the US, for three hours straight, the minister revealed. The vessel was ultimately driven out of Russian waters after the Navy applied “special actions” to it three times, Shoigu added, without providing any further detail.
Shortly after the incident, the Russian defense ministry summoned a US military attaché, demanding that they explain the incursion of the vessel, believed to be a Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine. The US Navy has publicly denied its involvement, insisting it solely operates “safely in international waters.”
“There is no truth to the Russian claims of our operations in their territorial waters,” a spokesman for the US Indo-Pacific Command, Kyle Raines, said. He refused to say where exactly the said US submarine has been operating.