Russian warships launch largest training operation since 1991

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Moscow, Jan 20 (UNI) Russian warships have launched a massive training operation in the Atlantic, the largest since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

''A strike naval group comprising the heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the missile carrying cruiser Moskva, the large anti-submarine ships Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, and the supply ships Sergei Osipov and Nikolai Chiker left the Mediterranean on January 19, passed through the Strait of Gibraltar and reached the Atlantic,'' Russian Navy's spokesman Igor Dygalo said in a press release.

''The Moskva missile cruiser joined the strike group in the Mediterranean on January 18,'' he said.

''The group is controlled from the Admiral Kuznetsov by Vice Admiral Nikolai Maksimov, the commander of the Northern Fleet. The crews are preparing for the scheduled exercise on their journey,'' Dygalo said.

The manoeuvres include submarine hunting drills, weapons checks and communication system training.

The massive training operation in the Atlantic by Russian warships, comes after Russia resumed last August a Cold War-era practice of sending long-range bomber aircraft on patrol over the North Pole on permanent basis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said, the move to resume the flights permanently after a gap of 15 years, was in response to unprecedented security threats to Russia by other military powers.

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