Russian warships practice artillery firing in Black Sea

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MOSCOW, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Russian warships have been rehearsing shooting at airborne and sea targets during exercises in the Black Sea to the south of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence said early on Friday.

The exercises involving 20 navy vessels began on Wednesday and are part of a surge of military activity in the region that has put the West on edge during a standoff over Ukraine.

The Black Sea drills are expected to wrap up later on Friday.

Russian artillery forces in the southern Rostov region that borders Ukraine have also been practising destroying enemy forces and armoured vehicles with howitzers, the Ministry of Defence said.

The Black Sea drills, part a set of navy exercises taking place in numerous locations this month and next from the Pacific to the Atlantic, also practised sweeping for mines.

Photo – A frame grab taken from a handout video made available by the Russian Defence Ministry Press Service shows Russian cruiser Marshal Ustinov preparing to take part in exercises in the Barents Sea in Severomorsk, Russia. A detachment of Russian navy ships and support vessels of the Northern Fleet entered the Barents Sea as part of an exercise with the Arctic Expeditionary Group of Forces and troops. EPA-EFE/RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE HANDOUT

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