Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

In this undated video grab provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian warships take part in manoeuvres in the Bering Sea.

The Associated Press

The Russian navy conducted major war games near Alaska involving dozens of ships and aircraft, the military said Friday, the biggest such drills in the area since Soviet times.

Russia’s navy chief, Adm. Nikolai Yevmenov, said that more than 50 warships and about 40 aircraft were taking part in the exercise in the Bering Sea, which involved multiple practice missile launches.

“We are holding such massive drills there for the first time ever,” Yevmenov said in a statement released by the Russian Defence Ministry.

Story continues below advertisement

It wasn’t immediately clear when the exercises began or if they had finished.

Yevmenov emphasized that the war games are part of Russia’s efforts to boost its presence in the Arctic region and protect its resources.

“We are building up our forces to ensure the economic development of the region,” he said. “We are getting used to the Arctic spaces.”

The Russian military has rebuilt and expanded numerous facilities across the polar region in recent years, revamping runways and deploying additional air defence assets.

Russia has prioritized boosting its military presence in the Arctic region, which is believed to hold up to one-quarter of the Earth’s undiscovered oil and gas. Russian President Vladimir Putin has cited estimates that put the value of Arctic mineral riches at $30 trillion.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet, whose assets were taking part in the manoeuvrs, said the Omsk nuclear submarine and the Varyag missile cruiser launched cruise missiles at a practice target in the Bering Sea as part of the exercise.

The manoeuvrs also saw Onyx cruise missiles being fired at a practice target in the Gulf of Anadyr from the coast of the Chukchi Peninsula, it added.

Story continues below advertisement

As the exercise was ongoing, U.S. military spotted a Russian submarine surfacing near Alaska on Thursday. U.S. Northern Command spokesman Bill Lewis noted that the Russian military exercise is taking place in international waters, well outside U.S. territory.

Lewis said the North American Aerospace Defence Command and U.S. Northern Command were closely monitoring the submarine. He added that they haven’t received any requests for assistance from the Russian navy but stand ready to assist those in distress.

Russian state RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russia’s Pacific Fleet sources as saying that the surfacing of the Omsk nuclear submarine was routine.

Also late Thursday, NORAD sent F-22 fighter jets to intercept three groups of two Tu-142 Russian maritime patrol aircraft that came close to Alaska.

The Russian aircraft remained in the area for about five hours and came within 50 nautical miles of Alaska. Officials said the Russian jets remained in international air space, and at no time entered United States or Canadian sovereign air space.

“Our northern approaches have had an increase in foreign military activity as our competitors continue to expand their military presence and probe our defences,” Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of NORAD, said in a statement. “This year, we’ve conducted more than a dozen intercepts, the most in recent years. The importance of our continued efforts to project air defence operations in and through the north has never been more apparent.”

Story continues below advertisement

It cited former Russian navy’s chief of staff, retired Adm. Viktor Kravchenko, as saying that by having the submarine surface in the area the navy may have wanted to send a deliberate signal.

“It’s a signal that we aren’t asleep and we are wherever we want,” RIA Novosti quoted Kravchenko as saying.

The presence of Russian military assets in the area caused a stir for U.S. commercial fishing vessels in the Bering Sea on Wednesday.

“We were notified by multiple fishing vessels that were operating out the Bering Sea that they had come across these vessels and were concerned,” U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Kip Wadlow said Thursday.

The Coast Guard contacted the Alaskan Command at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which confirmed the ships were there as part of a pre-planned Russian military exercise that was known to some U.S. military officials, he said.

The Russian military has expanded the number and the scope of its war games in recent years as Russia-West relations have sunk to their lowest level since the Cold War after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, and other crises.

Story continues below advertisement

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies