Russian warships anchor off Crimea as Ukraine begins missile testing

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Kiev began two days of missile tests today, angering Russia, which has put its air defence forces on high alert saying it hopes that the war games will not disrupt international flights. 

“Warships of the Black Sea Fleet have taken up positions near Crimea”s western coast for the duration of Ukraine”s planned missile tests from December 1-2,” a military source in Crimea said.

“The ship”s air defence units have been put on a higher state of alert. Their equipment is designed in the first instance to shoot down heavy anti-ship missiles and cruise missiles.

“Together with land-based air defence units on the peninsula, the ships have thrown up a practically impenetrable shield against the enemy”s rockets.” 

Vladimir Krizhanovsky, a Ukrainian military official, earlier today said that the exercises had begun and that everything was going smoothly. 

“The tests are being carried out in accordance with international law,” said Krizhanovsky. He said they were taking place at least 18.64 miles from Crimean air space.

“Therefore it would be wrong to reproach Ukraine,” he said. 

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.