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Ukraine engages in dangerous missile drills 90 km from Crimea, Russian warships stands ready to defend

As Ukraine teeters on the brink of economic collapse, knowing full well that in 50 days a Trump presidency may very well cut the cord to US life support that holds the Ukrainian state together, President Poroshenko turned his attention towards provocation…most likely in the hopes that the forgotten headache-of-a-situation in the belly of Europe, can somehow draw the eyes of the world back onto it.

And no better way to try and get some much needed love from the fading western establishment than to create doomsday scenarios off the coast of Crimea.

Grasping at ghosts from Christmas days past (circa 2014), Poroshenko reverted to the “fake news” narrative of “Russian aggression” and “little green men” to justify missile launch drills near the Russian border.

Russian warships from the Black Sea Fleet stand ready to defend, taking up positions off the Crimean Peninsula to provide air defense.

Meanwhile in Kiev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said…

“We’ve received the first reports about the success of the launches carried out this morning.”

“These latest exercises involved combat and transport aircraft, as well as divisions of anti-aircraft and radar troops.”

“I want to emphasize that the launches are taking place in open sea over Ukrainian airspace, in full accordance with international law. The launches will go on regardless of any statement released by Moscow.”

“The only reason that makes us conduct these exercises is the need to be consistently ready for any full-scale invasion from the side of our aggressive neighbor.”

Vladimir Kryzhanovsky (head of the Ukrainian military’s southern branch press service), said the drills were to test S-300 medium-range surface-to-air missiles.

“The purpose of the exercise is to gain experience in using these anti-aircraft missile systems and to check the quality of the rockets, which were repaired, as well as to improve the skills of the anti-aircraft missile troop units”

Kryzhanovsky said that the missiles will come as close as 30 kilometers to Crimean airspace.

The missiles are being launched from a spot that is only 90 kilometers from Crimea’s shores.

RT reports on Ukraine’s missile drills, and Russia’s reaction to the dangerous provocation, which includes the presence of Black Sea Fleet warships ready for action off the west coast of Crimea…should Ukraine happen to “accidentally” misfire one of their missiles…

The Ukrainian military stressed that its current exercises pose no danger to the residents of the Crimean Peninsula.

Still, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Ukrainian missile tests near Crimea were a “dangerous precedent,” as cited by Interfax.

Russian ships from the Black Sea Fleet have taken up positions to the west of the Crimean Peninsula to provide air defense over Russian territory, RIA Novosti news agency reports, citing sources in the military.

“The Black Sea Fleet warships integrated in the air defense system of the Southern Military District have taken position off the west coast of Crimea for Ukraine’s missile launch drills, which are scheduled for December 1st and 2nd. The ships’ air defenses are in on high alert,” the source told the agency.

Ukraine announced that it would be conducting missile-firing exercises close to Crimea in areas used by civil and state aviation flights earlier this week, warning that they would not be safe for flights. Later, it declared that adjacent areas, partly over neutral waters and partly over Russia’s territorial waters in the Black Sea to the southwest and southeast to Crimea, would also be dangerous.

The Russian aviation agency said that Kiev’s drills breach a number of international laws and agreements, noting that they had not been coordinated with Moscow.

Russia asked the authorities in Kiev to abstain from the exercises, but received no response, Russian transport minister Maksim Sokolov said earlier today, while noting that Moscow had also requested that the International Civil Aviation Organization declare Crimean airspace a danger zone, but that also went unanswered.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry submitted a military-diplomatic note to the Defense Attaché at the Embassy of Ukraine, in which they protested the illegal restrictions on the use of Russian airspace imposed by Ukraine during the exercises, noting that “the southeastern boundary of the danger area declared by the Ukraine violates the territorial sea borders of the Russian Federation, which is a violation of international law and Russian legislation.”

However, according to the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, the Ukrainian government changed the boundaries of the danger zone for civil aviation in the Crimea region just ahead of the drills so that they no longer breach Russian airspace.

“The boundaries of the danger zone for civil aviation has been shifted to the west of the Russian Federation,” the agency’s representative told Interfax.

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