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Major military drills underway against simulated enemy in seas of Okhotsk and Japan

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 September 2014

Strategic bombers redeployed Eastern Military District in snap exercises called by Vladimir Putin.

Ships of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy fight a naval battle with imaginary enemy. Picture: vesti.ru

The unannounced combat readiness checks included naval battle practice for ships of the Pacific Fleet. 

'Tactical strike groups of missile, antisubmarine and mine sweeping ships in different formations of the Pacific Fleet practice naval combat with surface action groups of a simulated enemy in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan,' stated the Defence Ministry's press service. 

The ships are engaged in different kinds of torpedo, gun and mortar firing, as well as mine laying and sweeping, and air defence, reported RIA Novosti.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered snap combat readiness drills in the Eastern Military District starting 11 September.

The drills cover a vast area, including the Kuril Islands, near the city of Anadyr in the Chukotka Autonomous Area, and on the island of Sakhalin.

'The strategic bombers Tupolev Tu-95MS [NATO reporting name: Bear] and Tupolev Tu-22M3 [NATO reporting name: Backfire] have been redeployed from their permanent bases to operational airfields of the Eastern Military District,' said the press service.

They are engaged in patrol practice and support of the Russian Navy Pacific Fleet warships.

'The aircraft will also practice during the drills midair refuelling provided by Ilyushin Il-78 [NATO reporting name: Midas] aerial refuelling tanker.'

Almost 100,000 soldiers and officers are engaged in the training along with more than one hundred planes and helicopters.

Meanwhile, joint naval drills between Japan and Russia could take place late September near Vladivostok, according to a Japanese defence official, as reported by RIA Novosti.

'Search-and-rescue operations are humanitarian in nature,' the official told Nikkei newspaper, stressing the commitment of the country's military command to renew contacts with the Russian armed forces, which were suspended in connection with the Ukrainian situation.

According to the source, the Japanese Navy intends to consult with Russia to 'confirm commitment to the development of bilateral relations in the field of defence.'

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