MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. As of this January, U.S. Global Hawk drones have been spotted regularly over the Black Sea, Gen Andrei Kartapolov, Chief of the Main Department for Operations at the Russian General Staff said on Thursday at the 4th Moscow conference on international security.
"And in March 2015, the drones appeared for the first time in the airspace over Ukraine," he said, adding that the utilization of these unmanned aircraft increased the depth of data gathering on the territory of Russia by 250 kilometers to 300 kilometers.
"Also, up to thirty combat jets, about 300 armored vehicles, and more than 1,500 ground troops and U.S. marines are present on the territories of East-European countries on the rotation basis now," Gen Kartapolov said.
He recalled U.S. ships capable of carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles and antimissile missiles were present in the Black Sea practically all the time. Naval ships of NATO countries located outside of the Black Sea littoral area are also present the space of the sea along with the American ships.
"The intensity of flights of U.S. reconnaissance aviation has grown two-fold to 750 sorties compared with 2013, while stealth jets have made nine times more flights - 182," Gen Kartapolov said.
"Such flights have become practically daily ones and their routes approach Russia’s western borders at the closest possible distance," he said
Earlier in the day, the Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Gen Valery Gerassimov spoke about a sharp intensification of NATO’s military activities in the areas adjoining the Russian borders.