The buildup of NATO forces in the Black Sea is perceived as a threat and Russia is responding accordingly. A source in the Defense Ministry said Russia will deploy modern weapons and additional equipment to the region, according to RT.
The upcoming September, headquarters exercise, Caucasus-2016, will see more infrastructure, weapons, and military vehicles deployed to the theater. Forces involved will be from the Caucasus and the Black Sea region.
What really seems to have irked the Kremlin and the Russian military are efforts by NATO to train and integrate with the Ukrainian military.
Novaya Gazeta’s military expert, Navy Captain Oleg Shvedkov said that despite the fact that combined strength of NATO forces and their allies will be more than the one of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, deploying more aircraft and missiles to the region would successfully negate the new threat.
Chief spokesman of the Black Sea Fleet, Captain Vyacheslav Trukhachov said that more than fifteen new ships have arrived in the Black Sea theater including ships and submarines carrying the recently Syrian tested Kalibr cruise missile system with a range of approximately 1500 miles.
The press service of Russia’s Southern Military District added that the units deployed in the Northern Caucasus and Rostov Region are equipped with combat aircraft capable of controlling the whole territory of the Black Sea. In addition, the district possesses two brigades of Iskander-M ballistic missiles that have effective range of 500km and can penetrate any of the existing missile defense systems, the press service added.