Russia stages military exercises to show off its immunity
Russia has announced the staging of new military exercises which will feature its new bombers and fighter jets to show off its military strength near Ukrainian border.
State controlled news agency Interfax quoted an air force spokesman who announced the news saying that the event will include more than 100 planes and helicopters which will start on Monday and last until Friday in the central and western districts.
Spokesman Igor Klimov said that more of such exercises can be expected and this is the first in the series planned by Russia to improve the coordination of the military forces internally. However, he did not mention anything about Ukraine or pro-Russian rebels fighting the Ukrainian government.
The West has already accused Russia of lining up forces in Ukrainian border and Russia’s move to display its immunity could spur further criticisms. Russia has also denied supporting Russian rebels with weapons.
The display even will include aircraft such as Su 27, MiG 31 Fighter jets and the frontline bomber recently procured by Russia, Su 34, Mi 8, Mi 24 and Mi 28 helicoptes. These aircraft are also said to have missile practices during the event.
“Aircraft weapons on land and air targets on new ranges, and will be conducting real and electronic launches of anti-aircraft missiles in Ashuluk (Astrakhan region in southern Russia) which is specifically designed to aide the coordination between aviation and anti-missile defence”, said Klimov.
While Russia is flexing its muscles to display its strength, fighting has not ceased in eastern Ukraine where the MH 17 crash happened. Kiev staged a campaign threatening to crush the rebels in their own cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. Evidence submitted by the West indicates that Russian rebels shot down the airplane while Russia denies supporting the rebels in this.