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Russian Navy Rehearses Firing Rockets at Ships in Black Sea After Warning to Ukraine

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 21, 2023

A still image from a video, released by Russia's Defense Ministry, shows what it said to be the guided missile ship Ivanovets firing a rocket during drills in the Black Sea, in this image taken from video released July 21, 2023. (Photo: Russian Defense Ministry)

A still image from a video, released by Russia's Defense Ministry, shows what it said to be the guided missile ship Ivanovets firing a rocket during drills in the Black Sea, in this image taken from video released July 21, 2023. (Photo: Russian Defense Ministry)

Russia's Defense Ministry said on Friday that its Black Sea Fleet had practised firing rockets at surface targets in a live fire exercise, two days after it warned that ships heading to Ukraine's Black Sea ports could be considered military targets.

Russia issued its warning earlier this week after it quit the Black Sea grain deal on Monday, revoking security guarantees for ships carrying Ukrainian grain.

Kyiv subsequently said it wanted to set up a temporary shipping route to try and continue its grain exports, prompting Russia to warn that any ships travelling to Ukraine's Black Sea ports would be seen as possibly carrying military cargoes.

"In accordance with the combat training plan of the Black Sea Fleet forces, the crew of the Ivanovets missile boat carried out live firing of anti-ship cruise missiles at a target vessel..." the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

"Telemetry data and video monitoring from unmanned aerial vehicles confirmed the success of the exercise, and the target vessel was destroyed as a result of the rocket strike," it added.

It said its fleet had also rehearsed closing off areas temporarily ruled off limits to shipping and had practiced "apprehending an offending vessel".


(Reuters - Reporting by Reuters, Writing by Caleb Davis, Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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