The naval drills codenamed Ocean Shield 2023 kicked off in the Baltic Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported August 2, 2023.

“From August 2, a naval exercise, Ocean Shield 2023, is running in the Baltic Sea under the command of Navy Commander-in-Chief Nikolay Yevmenov. The exercise will check the preparedness of the naval forces for protecting national interests of the Russian Federation in an operationally important area and interoperability of headquarters at various levels in command and control of forces (troops),” the ministry said in a statement.

In addition, Russia’s naval maneuvers will practice protecting sea lanes, carrying troops and military cargo and defending the seashore, it specified.

“The drills involve over 30 combat ships and gunboats, 20 support vessels, 30 aircraft of naval aviation and Russia’s Aerospace Forces and about 6,000 troops,” the ministry said.

After the drills, combat ships will make inter-fleet passages to their permanent naval bases while aircraft will return to their home airfields, it said.