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MOSCOW, September 20 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, will take part in five-day naval exercises in the Barents Sea from Saturday until September 25, a spokesman for Russia’s Northern Fleet said Friday.
“The Admiral Kuznetsov set sail from the naval base in Severomorsk yesterday, heading toward the exercise area in the Barents Sea,” Capt. 1st Rank Vadim Serga said.
The warship was assigned to the Northern Fleet in January 1991. It is capable of carrying 26 Su-33 Flanker-D and MiG-29K Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighter jets, and 24 anti-submarine helicopters.
Large-scale drills of the Northern Fleet in the Barents Sea and on the Kola Peninsula are planned to involve some 30 warships and auxiliary vessels, up to 50 combat vehicles, about 20 aircraft and 2,500 personnel.
The exercises will involve air defense drills, submarine search-and-destroy missions, live firing drills and simulated beach assault landing, Serga said.
Russian Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov will oversee the exercises.
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.