The Russian military practiced a wide range of combat maneuvers in the Black Sea as part of its snap drill this week, following NATO’s decision to reinforce its presence in the region, it has been announced. NATO defense ministers have agreed on a more “enhanced forward presence in the eastern part of our alliance”, Secretary General Jens Stoltenbeg said at a meeting on Wednesday. He would not give details about how big the new deployment would be but one diplomat told AFP on the condition of anonymity that the force could be as many as 6,000.

The presence, Stoltenberg said, would be rotational and in the form of frequent military exercises. However, it would act as “a clear signal” to Russia in Eastern Europe as well as the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. After Stoltenberg’s announcement, the Russian Ministry of Defence issued a detailed breakdown of the types of combat Russia had been practising—anti-ship, anti-aircraft, anti-submarine warfare and combat against amphibious landing groups. READ MORE