, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, said in a public briefing yesterday. He said drills involved 35,000 combat vehicles, 900 aircraft and 180 navy ships. Previous estimates put the Russian troop number at 100,000. Col. Gen. Alexander Zhuravlev, commander of Russia’s Western Military District, reported most of his troops are back at their garrisons, with one trainload of troops still on its way home.
, Ukraine has asked Germany for anti-ship missiles and old corvettes, Germany’s dw.com news site reported Saturday. Separately, the Rada committees on defense, infrastructure and foreign relations want to hold hearings on a deal with Turkey to buy four Ada class corvettes. Ukrainian Navy officers fear the project will eat up a large part of the budget of Navy and that the corvettes will be easy targets for Russian anti-ship missiles.
Interfax has reported from Moscow, citing an official NOTAM, or international ‘notice to airmen.’ NOTAM said yesterday, “The area has been declared temporarily dangerous for aircraft flights.” Russia is conducting aviation drills with Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft, and has closed the airspace up to 19,000 meters, or 62,000 feet. For comparison, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was flying at 33,000 feet on July 17, 2014, when it was shot down by a Buk surface to air missile fired from Russia-controlled Donbas. Since then, flights from Ukraine fly well away from Crimea when crossing the Black Sea to fly to Turkey, the Emirates and other Southern and Eastern destinations.
“has also pushed Ukrainian sovereign bonds to their lowest level since November,” Reuters reported last night. Adamant Capital elaborated: “The price of Ukraine’s 11-year benchmark Eurobond (2032) has tumbled over the past week (by roughly 370 bps) signaling investor concerns over the possibility of a military escalation.” From the other side, the Russian ruble dropped yesterday to 77 to the dollar, its lowest level since November.