President Vladimir Putin instructed the Russian Aerospace Forces to begin constant patrolling of airspace over the Black Sea with MiG-31 aircraft armed with Kinzhal missile systems.
Speaking during a news conference following his visit to China, Putin said that Russia was taking such a move as a security measure rather than a threat to peace.
"This is not a threat, what I am now announcing: on my instructions, the Aerospace Forces will begin patrolling the neutral zone of airspace over the Black Sea on a permanent basis," Putin said.
Kinzhal missile complexes have a range of over 3,000 kilometres and a speed of Mach 9.
Putin also commented on the transfer of US ATACMS missiles to Kyiv.
Ukrainian President Zelensky announced the first use of US tactical missiles Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) on October 17. Zelensky thanked the United States for implementing the earlier reached agreements with Kyiv.
The US authorities have committed another mistake by transferring long-range missiles to Kyiv. The United States is simply prolonging Ukraine's agony. The transfer of ATACMS missiles to Kyiv harms Ukraine and creates an additional threat, but Russia is capable of repelling such attacks.
"This is all happening against the backdrop of the Middle East conflict heating up the atmosphere,” the president said.
Putin's decision could be a response to USA's presence off the coast of Israel.
Honored pilot of Russia Yuri Sytnik believes that Russia's move may come as a response to the US military presence off the coast of Israel. Regular patrolling missions of the Black Sea will demonstrate Russia's concerns to NATO countries. Putin has made the right decision and let the whole world know about it, the pilot said.
The Kinzhal hypersonic missile system consists of a rocket and a carrier aircraft. The missile with a range of more than 3,000 kilometres is carried on board MiG-31K fighter aircraft.
The hypersonic missile is designed to destroy surface ships, command posts, air bases and air defence systems. The missile, which reaches speeds of up to 4080 meters per second, carries a warhead weighing 500 kilograms. In March 2022, Kinzhal hypersonic missiles were used for the first time during a special military operation in Ukraine.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now