10 Jun 2021 12:17

Russian admiral describes naval exercise in central parts of Pacific as post-Soviet biggest

MOSCOW. June 10 (Interfax) - The Russian naval exercise underway in the central parts of the Pacific has an unprecedented scale: this is the biggest exercise held in the post-Soviet period, former Chief of the Russian Navy Staff Adm. Viktor Kravchenko told Interfax.

"There have been no such exercises involving so many forces in the post-Soviet period," Kravchenko said.

The exercise has both military and geopolitical goals, he said.

"We are demonstrating the capacities of Pacific Fleet forces and hardware at considerable distances from coastal infrastructure. This is the middle part of the Pacific Ocean, where the routes of aircraft carrier groups lie," the admiral said.

"We are demonstrating the capacities of the Pacific Fleet to the United States, Japan and everyone, including NATO, which has taken interest in the Asian theater of operations," Kravchenko said.

As for the current condition of the Pacific Fleet, the admiral said, "This is a vast area. The existent number of ships is obviously not enough for the accomplishment of all tasks. We need more. Nevertheless, the available number of Pacific Fleet ships allows accomplishing the task of prevention of military threats coming from the sea," he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry has announced the beginning of an operational-level exercise in the central part of the Pacific involving up to 20 surface ships and submarines, in addition to aircraft.

The Russian exercise is being held against the backdrop of the Agile Dagger 2021 exercise involving a third of all U.S. submarines deployed in the Pacific.