Russia and Ukraine begin military exercises as a possible invasion looms
Russian forces began ten-day drills with warships off a Black Sea port on Thursday, stoking fears in the West that an invasion of Ukraine could be imminent.
The news: According to The Washington Post, six ships arrived at the port of Sevastopol in Crimea.
- These ships are often used to offload military troops, vehicles, and equipment.
- Some of these ships were used when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008.
Details: According to BBC News, units of the Russian National Guard and other Russian military troops have also been massed near Ukraine.
- “According to our observations, a week or two is still needed to complete possible preparations for a potential full-scale invasion,” Kirill Mikhailov, an investigative reporter with the Conflict Intelligence Team, told BBC News.
Why it matters: According to the Washington Post, Ukrainian officials called the maneuvers “unprecedented” that made a voyage through the Black Sea and Sea of Azov impossible.
- “In essence, this is a significant and unjustified complication of international shipping, especially trade, which can have complex economic and social consequences, especially for Ukraine’s ports,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The other side: According to foreign policy, Ukraine has also started military exercises.
- “The fact that Ukraine’s armed forces are rearming at the same time as Russia’s signals a departure from a previous position of skepticism about whether its actions would provoke Moscow,” Foreign Policy said.