MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian air defense forces in Crimea have been placed on high alert on the eve of planned Ukrainian missile tests near the Black Sea peninsula, the TASS news agency cited a Crimean military source as saying on Wednesday.
Moscow has protested against the plans to carry out the tests near Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Ukraine says the tests, slated for Dec. 1 and 2, are legitimate and will be conducted within the framework of international obligations and treaties.
“Ukraine’s firing exercises are a kind of public relations ploy aimed at creating a nervous situation, but in any case the military perceive this as a real and potential threat and Russian air defense forces in Crimea have therefore been placed on a higher state of alert,” the source told TASS.
“This refers not only to ground-based units, but also to ship borne air defense forces as the ships of the Black Sea Fleet can independently repel such threats,” the source said.
Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alexander Winning