The Russian Navy’s aircraft carrier group centered around the carrier-cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov has reached the coasts of Syria where they have started carrier-based flight drills.
In a Russian Ministry of Defense video shared by Russian TVZvezda, the ships are seen sailing in formation while aircraft aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov carry out take offs and landings.
Mig-29K and Sukhoi Su-33 can be seen in the video along with Kamov Ka-52K and Ka-27 helicopters.
The Russian carrier strike group, which many fear would take part in airstrikes in Syria, is comprised of battlecruiser Pyotr Veliky, destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov and a number of supporting ships.
Media have been closely following the group ever since it left port in late October. Spain came under criticism from NATO after it became known that the Russian ships would refuel in the Spanish port of Ceuta.
Russia withdrew its request to refuel the warships in Ceuta in response to the media outcry while the Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu later confirmed to media that the group was replenished by auxiliary vessels at sea on Oct. 27-29.
Shoigu added that the withdrawal of the request to refuel in Ceuta did not alter the group’s schedule of future operations.