Russia will begin a 10-day naval exercise on Tuesday involving dozens of ships sailing in the Pacific Ocean and waters close to South Korea and Japan, Moscow's defence ministry said.

The drills come as tensions between Moscow and the two east Asian countries spike ahead of a visit to Pyongyang by Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose military ties with North Korea have sparked anxiety in the West.

The exercise will be held in the Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk, involving "40 ships, boats and support vessels" as well as about 20 planes and helicopters, the defence ministry said.

Video published by the ministry showed several ships and a submarine sailing out to sea from the city of Vladivostok, an operational base for Russia's Pacific Fleet.


"The sailors will practice anti-submarine operations, defending ship detachments at sea, joint missile strikes against groups of ships belonging to a hypothetical enemy, training to repel drone and unmanned attacks, and perform a set of practical training and combat exercises," the ministry said.

Russia routinely carries out drills in Pacific waters off its far east coast as a show of naval strength, but Western countries have watched them with increased anxiety since Moscow launched its military assault on Ukraine in 2022.

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