Russian Pacific fleet begins week-long exercises with more than 40 vessels -Russian agencies

June 2 (Reuters) - Russia's Pacific Fleet launched a week-long series of exercises with more than 40 ships and up to 20 aircraft taking part, Russian news agencies quoted the defence ministry as saying.

The ministry statement said the exercises, taking place from June 3-10, would involve, among other matters, "groups of ships together with naval aviation taking part in search operations for (enemy) submarines".

The exercises were taking place amid Russia's three-month-old incursion into Ukraine, described by Moscow as a "special military operation". Ukraine lies thousands of kilometres to the west of where the exercises are occurring in the Pacific.

Reporting by Ronald Popeski; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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