In a massive war games exercise that has concerned the United States, Russia’s military ministry reported that it sunk an aircraft carrier barely 35 miles off the coast of Hawaii. The move is allegedly related to recent Biden-Putin summit.
At least 20 Russian warships, submarines, and support boats are taking part in the exercises, which are the largest since the Cold War and are flanked by 20 fighter fighters.
Although Russia claims to be 300 miles off the coast of Hawaii, unconfirmed satellite photographs from June 19 show them to be far closer—within 35 miles of the U.S. state.
Russia claims to be around 2,500 miles southeast of the Kuril Islands with its soldiers.
According to The Drive, the location corresponds to allegations from U.S. media outlets that Russian warships were conducting exercises between 300 and 500 miles west of the main Hawaiian islands.
Their actions have highly alarmed the Pentagon.
What happened exactly?
The exercises were captured on film and released by Russia’s defense ministry on Monday.
The Russians organized two separate detachments of ships that operated at a distance of around 300 miles.
One group pretended to be the adversary.
An unnamed Russian Navy submarine and a pair of Tu-142MZ Bear-F Mod. 4 long-range anti-submarine aircraft from the Pacific Fleet’s naval aviation branch, operating from Yelizovo Air Base on the Kamchatka peninsula, were also involved in the maneuvers, according to The Drive. They were escorted by MiG-31BM Foxhound interceptors.
In the video the jets were seen taking off from a snow-covered location and then refueling mid-flight.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the two detachments “worked out the tasks of detecting, countering and delivering missile strikes against an aircraft carrier strike group of a mock enemy.”
The task force also tested their readiness for anti-aircraft and anti-submarine missions in addition to anti-shipping strikes, Russian Ministry of Defense added.
The Pentagon have said they are watching closely.
“U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is monitoring the Russian vessels operating in international waters in the Western Pacific,” Captain Mike Kafka, a spokesman for the US Indo-Pacific Command, told CBS News in a statement.
“We operate in accordance with international law of the sea and in the air to ensure that all nations can do the same without fear or contest and in order to secure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“As Russia operates within the region, it is expected to do so in accordance with international law,” he added.
Twice this month—on June 14 and 18—the U.S. scrambled F-22s from Hawaii in reaction to Russian bomber flights.
The bombers did not enter the United States’ Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) perimeter either time, therefore they were not intercepted.
On June 17, the USS Carl Vinson and her strike group were operating near Hawaii, but the Navy did not say when or why they arrived.
On June 18, the ship’s spokesman tweeted a photo with the caption:
“Vinson transits with USS Dewey in the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area. Vinson is participating in integrated ops with the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, training to a variety of missions, from long range strikes to anti-submarine warfare.”
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Defense released footage from a huge Russian exercise that showed Russian sailors tracking and ‘driving out’ a simulated enemy submarine.
‘During the exercise, the crews of the Pacific Fleet’s warships fired from the automatic naval gun mount AK-630 and the universal naval artillery A-190,’ a Moscow defense ministry statement said.
According to Sputnik, the huge anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleev, equipped with guided-missile guns, the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov, and three corvettes searched for and tracked the pretend enemy’s submarines.
Former chief of the General Staff of the Russian Navy, Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, said: “In the post-Soviet period, there have been no comparable exercises involving such a large number of forces.”
Due to the broad region of the Pacific Ocean where the drills are taking place, Rear Admiral Konstantin Kabantsov described them as “unique,” adding that “such exercises have not been conducted… in the recent history of the Russian fleet.”
Earlier Moscow claimed that it had stopped a U.S. reconnaissance jet off its Pacific coast, stopping it from crossing the Russian state border.
According to sources, video from the cockpit of a Su-35 fighter jet revealed the American RC-135 surveillance plane.
The drills came barely a week after Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin had an unpleasant encounter in Geneva, during which Putin was questioned about Biden’s assertion that Putin is a serial killer.
He claimed that Biden is a professional politician while praising his predecessor, the former president Donald Trump.