Russian warships hold nuclear defense drills in Indian Ocean

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    RFS PYOTR VELIKY: Two Russian warships conducted an exercise against a simulated nuclear attack with elements of chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) warfare in the Indian Ocean on Wednesday, a Navy officer said.

    The Moskva guided-missile cruiser, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, teamed up on Sunday with the Northern Fleet's flagship, the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser, and started a series of exercises in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday.

    Wednesday's drills involved rescue at sea and helping a vessel in distress following a nuclear explosion.

    According to the battle plan, the Aggressor delivered a nuclear strike with a yield of about 200 kilotons at a distance of some 15 miles from the Russian warships.

    Northern Fleet CBR specialist Captain 2nd Rank Alexander Buichikov said both ships were hermetically sealed and completely impervious to a nuclear or chemical attack.

    Tuesday's exercise involved rescue at sea, extinguishing a fire on board a vessel in distress and towing it to safety.

    The two vessels are due to arrive in Russia's Far Eastern port of Vladivostok in June-July to take part in the Vostok-2010 large-scale strategic exercise.

    The exact date of the drills has yet to be announced.

    Russia announced in 2007 that it was building up its naval presence throughout the world, and foreign port calls by Russian warships have become more frequent.