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NATO kicks off US-led war games in the Baltic Sea


LONDON – It has been 102 days since Russia began its brutal invasion of Ukraine. Despite rising tensions, NATO began naval exercises in the Baltic Sea along with aspiring members Finland and Sweden. Spain and the UK promised Kyiv weaponry with Russian President Vladimir Putin retaliating with a warning that Moscow would hit new targets if it continued.

NATO’s war games

Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) of the US Navy is seen at the harbor in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 3, 2022, ahead of the Baltic Operations ‘Baltops 22’ exercise that will take place from June 5 to 17 in the southern Baltic Sea area. (Reinaldo Ubilla / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On Sunday, NATO kicked off a two-week naval exercise in the Baltic Sea that includes more than 7,000 marines, airmen and sailors from 16 countries including Finland and Sweden – who officially applied to the international alliance last month.

Over 45 ships and more than 75 aircraft are also taking part in the Baltic Operations coined BALTOPS 22. The US-led games, which began in 1972, are reportedly not in response to any specific threat.

“In past iterations of BALTOPS we’ve talked about meeting the challenges of tomorrow,” , commander of the Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO and US Sixth Fleet, said. “Those challenges are upon us – in the here and now.”

He added: “BALTOPS 22 highlights our past investments and shows our collective partnership and capabilities as we recognize the importance of ‘freedom of the seas’ and the vital role of the Baltic plays in European prosperity.”

Putin’s warning

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers an address to the participants of the Bolshaya Peremena All-Russian contest for school students via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on June 1, 2022. (Mikhail Metzel / Sputnik / AFP / AFP via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers an address to the participants of the Bolshaya Peremena All-Russian contest for school students via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on June 1, 2022. (Mikhail Metzel / Sputnik / AFP / AFP via Getty Images)

Putin issued a stark warning on Sunday that the military would strike new targets if the West continued to supply Ukraine with long-range missiles. Speaking on Russian-state TV, Rossiya-1,: “We will strike at those targets which we have not yet been hitting.” However, Putin did not specify what those targets were.

Military assistance

The Ukrainian military is expected to receive more weapons from both Spain and Britain. On Sunday, the Madrid-based newspaper that government sources in Spain said that Leopard battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles would be sent to Ukraine in a bid to step up its military support to the country. Meanwhile, the UK is expected to donate several M270 multiple launch rocket systems – which can strike targets up to 50 miles away.

Despite Putin’s warning, the UK’s defense secretary, Ben Wallace, argued that the assistance is justified. “As Russia’s tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine,” “If the international community continues its support, I believe Ukraine can win.”

Zelensky visits frontline

Working trip of the President of Ukraine to the Zaporizhzhia region and Donbas June 05, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)

Working trip of the President of Ukraine to the Zaporizhzhia region and Donbas June 05, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)

Ukrainian President Vlodoymer Zelensky visited soldiers on the frontlines in the east of Ukraine on Sunday. Zelensky met troops in the Donbas region and met with fighters in Lysychansk, which is situated across from Severodonetsk – where Ukrainians are fighting back against Russian forces.

I want to thank you for your great work, for your service, for protecting all of us, our state, ” “I am grateful to everyone. Take care of yourselves! “



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