Russian Warships, Aircraft and Subs Carry Out Major War Games in Bering Sea

 

Russian warships in the Bering Sea. mod_russia/Twitter
Russian warships in the Bering Sea. mod_russia/Twitter

Over 50 warships and at least 40 aircraft from the Russian navy are conducting war games in the International waters of the Bering Sea this week in what is the largest such games in the area since the Soviet Era. In a released statement, Russia’s navy chief, Adm. Nikolai Yevmenov said, We are holding such massive drills there for the first time ever.”

The increased exercises on the part of Russia come as relations between Russia and the U.S. cool and Russia expands its economic presence in the Arctic.

Pollock fishermen plying and working the Exclusive Economic Zone have been told to “move out of the way,” as maneuvers are being carried out. That zone grants U.S. fishermen fishing rights, but as it is in International waters, allows vessels from other nations to work and transit the zone.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Kip Wadlow stated on Thursday that they “were notified by multiple fishing vessels that were operating out the Bering Sea that they had come across these vessels and were concerned,” but when the USCG passed on the information to Alaska Command they were informed that the presence was part of a pre-planned military exercise and military officials already knew of it.

The Russian missile cruiser, Varyag and nuclear submarine, Omsk, launched cruise missiles at targets during the exercise.

When a Russian nuclear submarine surfaced near Alaska but in International waters, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command immediately began monitoring it. Russian navy’s chief of staff, retired Adm. Viktor Kravchenko told RIA Novosti of the surfacing of the sub, “It’s a signal that we aren’t asleep and we are wherever we want.”

It has not been revealed when the maneuvers began or when they will conclude.