The Hindu 
Jan 21, 2013
The Russian Navy has begun its biggest war games in the high seas in decades that will include manoeuvres off the shores of Syria.
More than two dozen ships drawn Russia’s all four fleets, as well as long-range warplanes, will conduct nine-day exercises in the Mediterranean and Black seas. It is the largest naval manoeuvres since the collapse of the Soviet Union, officials said.
The purpose of the war games is to improve coordination between different naval groups during missions in “far-away sea zones,” the Russian Defence Ministry said on Sunday.
Experts suggested the exercises will serve to project Russia’s naval power to a highly explosive region and render moral support for the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.