Russia has fired cruise missiles at training targets at sea separating it from Alaska as part of a drill Moscow says is about protecting its Northern Sea Route in the Arctic.

The Defense Ministry said the Vulcan, Granit and Onyx cruise missiles were launched hundreds of miles away to hit targets mimicking enemy ships in the waters of the Bering Sea.

The drills involved firing missiles by ground-based means, as well as from ship and submarine sites, and involved about 10,000 servicemen assisted by aircraft and helicopters, the ministry said.

Russian bombers circling the U.S. border

The trainings were held on the Russian Chukotka Peninsula, in the Chukchi and Bering Seas and were supervised by Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy.

Russia wants to demonstrate its uninterrupted ability to demonstrate strength in the Arctic and the Far East, despite the tensions its armaments have been experiencing since the 18-month war in Ukraine.

Last year, Moscow said it planned to spend more than $30 billion by 2035 on the development of the Northern Sea Route, which has become more accessible as climate change has reduced ice in the Arctic. The route runs over northern Russia from Murmansk, a city near the border with Norway and Finland, to the Bering Strait near Alaska.

President Vladimir Putin stressed last month the importance of the Northern Sea Route in his speech to the group of BRICS countries, saying Russia plans to build new ports and fuel terminals and expand its fleet of icebreakers.



Military exercise