The 559th Fighter Bomber Aviation Regiment, equipped with SU-34 jets has been deployed to the Black Sea region.
The Open Source Intelligence Twitter account SkyWatcher Intel is following this, if you don’t follow them then I’d suggest you go do that now.
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OSINT, or open source intelligence, is the practice of collecting information from published or otherwise publicly available sources. OSINT operations, whether practiced by enthusiasts or professionals use various techniques to sift through the vast haystack of visible data to find information few release is actually public.
What are the Russians saying about this?
The Russians say that this is a long-planned exercise. According to a translated excerpt from state media:
“The crews of the operational-tactical aviation of the Air Force and Air Defense Association of the Southern Military District redeployed to operational airfields to carry out joint missions with the naval aviation of the Black Sea Fleet. The activities were carried out during the control check during the winter training period.
In addition, the pilots of the two formations will carry out the tasks of escorting naval strike groups and acting as part of reconnaissance strike complexes while ensuring security in the Black Sea.
The control check of the Southern Military District troops for the winter period is carried out according to the approved troop training plan for 2021. It involves the troops of all associations of the district, including the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla. The commissions of higher military command and control bodies also check the staffing level and supply of troops, their ability to meet the standards established by the requirements of combat and operational training.”