Officially, the massive bombardment at land and sea that have taken place on the Kola Peninsula and in the Barents Sea over the last week is not a part of the exercise Zapad-2017. Training scenarios, however, are similar to what takes place along the borders to the Baltics in the south; stopping an enemy attack from the west.
In fact, the war-game senario reminds about Operation Barbarossa, Hitler-Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, with divisions moving in from Poland through the Baltic én route to Leningrad and Moscow. Simultaneously with divisions attacking the Kola Peninsula from Kirkenes in Norway through the Fisherman Peninsula and Litsa area én route towards Murmansk.
Yesterday, Barents Observer reported about massive shootings by Northern Fleet marines and air force combat actions. Now, Russia’s Ministry of Defense reports about more war games in the Barents Sea.
Missile cruisers and nuclear-powered submarines
Five cruise missiles were launched from different warships towards targets at land and sea.
First launch came from the Teriberka area north of Murmansk where the Bastion coastal missile system launched and hit a target 400 kilometers away. Then, a massive missile attack was launched agains a «group of enemy vessels». The cruise missiles were launched from the heavy missile cruiser «Pytor Velikiy» as well as from the two nuclear-powered Oscar-II class submarines «Voronezh» and «Orel». Distance from launching vessels to targets were between 200 and 300 kilometers, the Defense Ministry informs and says the missiles were the Granite anti-ship cruise missile.
Finally, missiles were launched from the destroyer «Admiral Ushakov» towards a convoy of «enemy landing vessels.» Here, the supersonic anti-ship cruise missile Moskit was used.
The ministry says all areas of missile shootings were closed off for civilian shipping.
In total, more than 20 warships took part in the Barents Sea exercise, in addition to 10 diesel- and nuclear-powered submarines, about 20 support vessels and up to 30 aircraft. More than 5,000 soldiers took part in the exercise, the press service of the Northern Fleet informs.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Surveillance and search and rescue top Canada’s Arctic defence priorities, Radio Canada International
Norway: NATO trains in anti-submarine warfare in northern waters, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Russia engages in military exercises near Norway, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Sweden’s biggest military exercise in 20 years criticised, Radio Sweden
United States: Alaska leaders say military is ready to protect the state from North Korean threats, Alaska Dispatch News