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InternationalRussian submarine in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Russian submarine in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

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Russia is conducting large-scale exercises in the Black Sea

Russian submarines headed from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea to take part in large-scale military exercises. Western countries have described the exercises as another provocation by Moscow, which has amassed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine, Belarus and occupied Crimea.

The Russian submarine Rostov-on-Don was photographed crossing the Bosphorus in front of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul. The photos were taken on Sunday, February 13. Radio Free Europe reported that six submarines headed for the Black Sea. Russia’s Defense Ministry has announced a “planned crossing of the Bosphorus” by its military.

Legally, Turkey, a member of NATO and the second largest army after the United States in the Alliance, could close the transit channel if Russia takes military action against Ukraine. The demonstration of strength is part of a series of exercises conducted by the Russian Navy. Russia has denied plans to invade Ukraine, saying it could deploy troops wherever it wants on its own land. At the same time, however, Moscow is seeking assurances from NATO that Ukraine will never be admitted to the Alliance – a request that was rejected.

Turkish media reported that the Russian submarine Rostov-on-Don was escorted by the Turkish coast guard. Turkey’s foreign ministry has urged its citizens to avoid traveling to Ukraine at the moment. A similar warning was issued by a number of other countries, some of which evacuated their diplomats.

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