Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
On July 9th in Odessa the ceremonial opening of the “Sea Breeze-2018” American-Ukrainian military exercises in the Black Sea took place.
The day prior two NATO surface vessels – the flagship of the 6th Fleet of the US Mount Whitney and the American destroyer USS Porter – moored in the port. In the morning of the next day the Turkish Yavuz frigate and the Turkish Yildiray submarine came into Odessa. All of them will participate in “Sea Breeze”, and celebrations on the occasion of its opening in Ukraine were held by the commander of Naval Forces of the country Igor Voronchenko, the Vice-President of the Odessa Regional State Administration Sergey Koleboshin, and also the Ukrainian rear admiral Aleksey Neizhpapa and the captain of the first rank from the US Matthew Liman. As Voronchenko stated, the launched military exercises are “our general answer to the ideologists, organisers, and sponsors of hybrid wars, behind which threats to mankind, state terrorism, and armed aggression hide”.
“The planned training actions will clearly demonstrate our unity and unshakable readiness to together defend peace and the values shared by civilised mankind — democracy, freedom, and the rule of law,” added the head of Naval Forces of Ukraine.
It should be noted, however, that in April of this year the destroyer USS Porter was involved in the bombing of Syria — back then the US launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat air base near Homs. The American leader Donald Trump called this missile attack “punishment” for the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army against groups connected to Al-Qaeda.
The “Sea Breeze” exercises will last until July 21st, 2018. In total it is planned to include 29 ships, boats, and vessels, 1 submarine, 25 aircraft, and about 3,000 personnel in military manoeuvres. The features of the current manoeuvres are named as the management of the forces of sea, air, and ground components directly from the sea, from the side of the Mount Whitney HQ ship.
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