– Russia Launches Military Aviation “Drills” Near East Ukraine (ZeroHedge, March 19, 2014):
Just days before the annexation of Crimea, while promising that they would not instigate actions to antagonize the West, Russia launched a massive unscheduled military drill. Now, with Crimea under their pro-Russian forces control, and despite promises that Putin seeks to go no further than Crimea, the Wall Street Journal reports that Russia will begin unscheduled military aviation exercises in regions bordering Ukraine. The crews will be practicing “actions during airstrikes” on enemy military targets, communications jamming, air defense and attacks by military jets, the spokesman said.
Russia will begin military aviation exercises in regions bordering Ukraine, Interfax news agency reported citing a spokesman for the military Wednesday.
The news comes a day after Russia signed a treaty to annex Crimea.
The military exercises, which will involve 40 combat crews and 300 servicemen, will go on till the end of May and are scheduled, the spokesman said.
The crews will be practicing “actions during airstrikes” on enemy military targets, communications jamming, air defense and attacks by military jets, the spokesman said.
On Thursday the Russian military already announced that it was increasing the intensity of military exercises involving troops on the ground in regions bordering Ukraine.
Last month Russia announced unscheduled military exercises that involved 150,000 troops in regions close to its border with Ukraine. This prompted fears that Russia was considering military action in mainland Ukraine. The soldiers involved in the drills were ordered to return to their bases last week but the order didn’t apply to troops that had been sent to Crimea.
So once again, Putin spoke, made promises, the market bought it, and tensions escalated…How odd that the market expected the Russian president to telegrpah his intention in a public broadcast…