Russia conducts military exercises in the Arctic Sea off Alaska

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Russian nuclear-powered submarines fired cruise missiles into the Arctic on Friday as part of military exercises designed to test the readiness of Moscow for possible conflict in its icy northern waters, the Defense Ministry said.

The exercises, called Umka-2022, took place in the Chukchi Sea, an eastern stretch of the Arctic Ocean that separates the Russia of the US state of Alaska.

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Russia views its vast Arctic territory as a vital strategic interest and has been developing its military capabilities in the region for years, raising alarms in the West.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday that two nuclear-powered submarines – Omsk and Novosibirsk – had fired anti-ship cruise missiles from the Sea of ​​Chukchi, hitting targets at a distance of 400 kilometers.

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The ministry posted a video on social media that showed the missiles being launched from ships situated at points along the Northern Sea Route – a commercial shipping channel that Russia is promoting as an alternative option for cargo ships traveling between Europe and Europe. to Asia.

Moscow has continued a program of high-level military exercises, even as most of its ground forces are engaged in the war in Ukraine.

Earlier this month, the country held small-scale war games in the Russian Far East, attended by around 50,000 troops.

These exercises came at a time when a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive that forced Russian troops to abandon swathes of territory in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region was underway.

The Defense Ministry said this week’s Arctic exercises were a test of “Russia’s ability and readiness to defend the Russian Arctic by military means”.

In addition to missile launches from nuclear-powered submarines, Russia’s “Bastion” coastal missile system also fired missiles at sea targets at a distance of 300 kilometers from the Chukchi Peninsula – Russia’s easternmost territory.

Russia’s militarization of the Arctic region has caused unrest in Western capitals, other Arctic nations and among environmental groups. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last month that Russia’s military build-up in the Arctic posed a “strategic challenge” for the NATO alliance.

(Edited by Guy Faulconbridge)

Source: CNN Brasil

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