Ukrainian defenders have noted an atypical Russian activity in the Black Sea; Russians have deployed 20 ships and a large number of units of the auxiliary fleet ships there.
Source: Nataliia Humeniuk, Head of the Joint Press Centre for Operational Command Pivden (South), during the national 24/7 broadcast on 16 March
Quote: "We are carefully monitoring the naval group in the Black Sea and the actions of the enemy.
Atypical activity and number of ship groups were recorded. There are currently 20 units in the Black Sea, including 4 missile carriers, one of them is underwater; the total salvo is 28 missiles that can be equipped for launch."
Details: Also, according to Humeniuk, many units of the auxiliary fleet were recorded at sea.
All the ships are scattered, so maybe the Russians want to find the wreckage of the American drone they talked about earlier.
Humeniuk noted that the occupiers are trying to "cover the naval operations in the Black Sea as much as possible and are trying to hide their actions" from the Ukrainian defenders, but careful observation gives results, and the defenders see and understand Russia’s steps ahead.
- The US Air Force issued a statement on 14 March, which said that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet damaged an American MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance and strike UAV over the Black Sea during an interception, as a result of which the drone had to be sunk.
- The US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby, noted that while Russian intercepts of US aircraft over the Black Sea are not uncommon, Tuesday's episode was unique regarding how "dangerous, unprofessional and reckless" Russia’s actions were.
- The Ministry of Defence of Russia stated on Tuesday evening that their Su-27 fighter jets had nothing to do with the crash of the MQ-9 Reaper American UAV in the Black Sea. In addition, they said it approached annexed Crimea and was flying in violation.
- The US Department of Defense, in turn, said it was working to declassify visual information related to the incident in the international airspace over the Black Sea.
- NBC News reported that the highest levels of the Kremlin approved the aggressive actions of Russian military fighter jets against a U.S. military drone over the Black Sea.