The Russian navy is about to stage its largest war exercise in a long time — possibly the largest since before the breakup of the Soviet Union. It’s a chance for President Vladimir Putin to show off his military might, of course. But the exercise may also be a subtle warning to the United States: Stay clear of waters that traditionally lie in Russia’s sphere of influence.
The Russian defense ministry says its the “first time in decades” it’s launched naval exercises on this scale. The drills involve warships from all of Russia’s fleets: “the Northern, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific,” noted a statement from the ministry. The exercise will be reportedly held in late January, and involve amphibious landings in the Caucasus and naval exercises in the Mediterranean.