Russia parades in the Black Sea and denounces “America’s hysteria”

On Saturday morning, the Russian Defense Ministry announced: “More than 30 ships of the Black Sea Fleet have sailed from Sevastopol and Novorossiysk, according to the exercise plan.”

“The aim of the maneuver is to defend the Crimean waterfront and the bases of the Black Sea Fleet forces, as well as the country’s economic sector from potential military threats,” the ministry explained.

On Friday evening, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned Washington’s statements that a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent.

“White House hysteria is more evident than ever,” she said on Telegram. “Americans need war. At any cost. Provocations, disinformation and threats are the preferred way to solve private problems.”

The Russian ambassador to the United States denounced the US statements, denouncing the lack of evidence, stressing that Russia “will not attack anyone.”

In recent months, Russia has amassed tens of thousands of soldiers at the Ukrainian border, raising fears of an invasion of the country, a matter denied by Moscow, which demands security guarantees, including the non-acceptance of NATO to Ukraine’s accession to it.

In January, Russia announced comprehensive naval exercises for the same month and for February in the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific and Mediterranean oceans, but also in “waters and seas adjacent to the Russian territory”.

“More than 140 warships and support ships, more than 60 aircraft, 1,000 pieces of military equipment and about 10,000 soldiers will participate in the maneuvers,” the Defense Ministry said.

Tensions have risen in the Black Sea in recent years, with Moscow accusing Ukraine and the West of threatening its security off the Crimean peninsula.

In June 2021, the Russian fleet fired warning shots at a British destroyer. Russia is also currently conducting combat readiness exercises in Belarus at the borders of the European Union and Ukraine.

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