Russian military began large-scale exercises involving air defense, ships, as well as nuclear and diesel submarines in the Arctic, reported the Russian Defense Ministry.
"The Northern Fleet has begun an intergroup command-staff exercise, which takes place under the general leadership of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov," the ministry said.
The Russian Defense Ministry noted that in the first stages of the exercises, the Northern Fleet's military administration put the military units on alert.
In early April, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced exercises in the Southern Military District. On April 6, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu announced snap combat readiness inspections in the Northern Fleet, as well as in the Far North, the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka. Shoygu pointed out that the activities are carried out because of the deployment of NATO troops near the Russian borders. On April 14, the the Russian Black Sea Fleet began large scale-scale exercises.
Ukraine and a number of other countries protested about Russia’s military buildup along Ukrainian borders.
On April 14, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry voiced concern about the exercises of the Black Sea Fleet. Kyiv said that the closure of the Kerch Strait and parts of the Black Sea because of the ongoing military activities is a violation of international law by Russia. The Ukrainian military conducted large-scale exercises on the border with Crimea on April 14.
U.S. President Joseph Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Russia to stop deployment of troops on Ukrainian border. French President Emmanuel Macron also demanded that Russia move troops away from the Russian-Ukrainian border and withdraw them from Crimea.