Russia Begins Pacific Maneuvers: Focus on Air Strikes and Submarines

About 40 ships and about twenty planes and helicopters will take part in the maneuvers, which will last 10 days in the Russian Far East

by Sededin Dedovic
Russia Begins Pacific Maneuvers: Focus on Air Strikes and Submarines
© Handout / Getty Images

Russia commenced naval exercises in the Pacific today, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced. The exercises will focus on submarines and air strikes, according to AFP. About 40 ships and 20 aircraft and helicopters will participate in the maneuvers, which will last for 10 days in Russia's Far East.

The exercises were announced at a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit North Korea to form a strategic partnership between Moscow and Pyongyang.

Tactical Nuclear Exercises

Russia announced last week that soldiers and sailors from the northern Leningrad military region, which borders NATO members Norway, Finland, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania, participated in military exercises with tactical nuclear weapons.

These developments highlight the ongoing military tensions and strategic maneuvers involving Russia on multiple fronts. This represents an expansion of the areas where exercises are conducted to nearly the entire Russian European border, stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea, according to Reuters.

It wasn’t long before exercises began in the Pacific as well. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered exercises in the southern military district near Ukraine last month after Western officials indicated they would allow Kyiv to use donated weapons to strike deep within Russian territory.

Changes in Russia's Nuclear Doctrine

Putin said last week that Russia does not need to use nuclear weapons to win in Ukraine, the clearest signal from the Kremlin so far that the conflict in Ukraine will not escalate into a nuclear war.

However, he also did not rule out changes to Russia's nuclear doctrine, which determines the conditions under which nuclear weapons can be used. The US has stated that it does not currently see any changes in Russia's strategic deployment, although intelligence officials take Russian statements very seriously.

Russia and the US are convincingly the world's strongest nuclear powers, holding 80 percent of the total nuclear arsenal, according to data from the Federation of American Scientists.