|Image: Russian Fighter Jet (Wiki Commons).|
February 28, 2014
Russian combat pilots are training to attack “enemy” forces in search and destroy missions as tensions continue to build, with Ukraine’s interim government complaining of a Russian military invasion after armed men seized control of an airport in Crimea.
Following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to order a snap combat readiness drill on February 26, troops and aircraft that were based in the western and central military districts of Russia have been redeployed to operational airfields as far as 500 kilometers away from their permanent bases.
“Crews will participate in search and rescue operations in the designated areas. In the training, pilots will also search for and destroy “enemy” forces and armoured objects on unfamiliar grounds,” reports ITAR-TASS.
The nature of the drills clearly suggests that Russia is prepared to invade Ukrainian territory in the event of an escalation in the crisis, just as it sent troops into Georgia in 2008.