The Russian Navy's Ropucha-class landing ship Kondopoga passes through the Bosphorus on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey April 17, 2021 Photograph:( Reuters )
These monoeuvres have come at a time when Russia-Ukraine relations are strained over Russian military presence on its border with the country
Russia on Saturday reinforced its naval presence in the Black Sea and sent two warships. These warships transited the Bosphorus on Saturday along with 15 smaller vessels. These monoeuvres have come at a time when Russia-Ukraine relations are strained over Russian military presence on its border with the country.
Moscow calls the huge troop buildup a temporary defensive exercise.
The Russian warships that transited the Bosphorus are Ropucha-class landing ships from Russia's Northern fleet. The ships are capable of carrying tanks and troops for the coastal assault.
More Russian naval reinforcements in the form of two more landing ships, this time from Russia's Baltic Fleet, are expected to imminently transit the Bosphorus.
The RIA news agency on Saturday also reported that 15 smaller vessels from Russia's Caspian Flotilla have completed their transfer to the Black Sea as part of an exercise.
In a further sign of heightened tensions in the region, a ship carrying logistics trucks and equipment for NATO forces in Romania transited the Bosphorus on Friday evening. This was reported by Reuters.
(With inputs from agencies)