KIEV, September 24. /TASS/. Ukrainian marines landed on the coast of the Sea of Azov in the Joint Efforts 2021 drills involving NATO military personnel and combat equipment, the Ukrainian Navy’s press office reported on Friday.
"An air assault company of the Ukrainian Navy’s marine infantry held tactical drills in the area of the Sea of Azov. The marines supported by a group of boats of the Ukrainian Navy and the State Border Guard Service landed from a search and rescue vessel onto the coast and organized the landing of another unit from Mi-8 helicopters," the Ukrainian Navy wrote on its Facebook.
Under the scenario of the drills, the troops carried out joint measures to block a notional enemy’s combined arms reserve, it said.
The Joint Efforts 2021 military drills kicked off in Ukraine on September 22 and will last through September 30. The maneuvers involve about 12,500 personnel and over 600 items of armament and military hardware from 15 countries, including 11 NATO member states and four partner countries. The large-scale maneuvers aim "to raise Ukraine’s defense potential and improve compatibility with the armed forces of NATO member states."
Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny earlier announced that the maneuvers were "solely of a defensive nature." He said that the drills would run at all of the country’s basic military training grounds and also in the Black and Azov Seas.