Large-scale naval exercises with the participation of the troops of the United States, Ukraine and 32 countries, including NATO members and their allies, are held in the Black Sea from June 28 to July 10. Can the war games lead to a real war?
Sea Breeze 2021 manoeuvres will take place involving:
The arrival of warships in the area of the exercises did not go without an incident, suffice it to recall the recent scandal with British destroyer HMS Defender.
Simultaneously with naval exercises, NATO is conducting another large-scale operation, including in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders.
It goes about Defender Europe 2021 exercises, in which about 28,000 military personnel of the alliance and allies are taking part so far, with as many as 40,000 military personnel and hundreds of pieces of hardware to be attracted for the war games.
Clearly, Russia reacts negatively to such a development.
Special representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov, noted that even though Sea Breeze 2021 were announced as purely sea-based drills, they go far beyond water boundaries and include landing operations of amphibious assault forces, as well as actions of NATO special and ground forces on the territory Ukraine.
We can see all this unfolding in parallel with accusations of Russia's military buildup and potential military aggression. What is worse, those accusations come from the countries that send their troops and military hardware to the Russian borders.
There is also the Ukrainian factor.
In Ukraine, there are political forces that would love a war with Russia by proxy, with the help of NATO and the United States in the first place. It goes without saying that Ukraine does not want either the Donbas or the Crimea — Ukraine would like the NATO army to go inside Russia, as deep as possible.
The story with military activities in the Black Sea may result in something very unpleasant, including combat clashes.
The above activities have not triggered World War Three yet, but one can not exclude a possibility of a tragic accident here either. Warning shots may accidentally hit the target, NATO would respond and Russia would sink them.
It is worthy of note that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg often speaks of the need for dialogue with Russia that should be held within the framework of a dual approach.
In a nutshell, NATO must constantly demonstrate containment mechanisms when talking to Russia. It appears that NATO has big problems with those containment mechanisms.
The Kremlin sees the above-mentioned war games in the Black Sea as an action that is extremely reminiscent of a provocation, rather than a containment factor.
Strangely enough, the war games in the Black Sea coincided with attempts to enter the Russian territorial waters. Russia defends and will defend along their entire length, and Crimea is no exception.
An intense movement of NATO aircraft was reported at Poland's Rzeszow airfield near the Ukrainian border