Putin heightens combat readiness in West and Center of Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military today be alert in the west and center of the country and to verify their combat readiness, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
“According to a provision of the president of Russia, today we have been put on alert,” Shoigu told a meeting of the Staff of the Ministry of Defence.
Putin has ordered several of drills by surprise in various parts of Russia since returning to the presidency in 2012, but those drills are more relevant now after the recent events in Ukraine.
The Western Military District has its headquarters in St. Petersburg and Russian regions covering that border with Finland, the Baltics and much of Ukraine.
In addition, the minister added, Putin also put on alert the 2nd Army of the Military District of Commanders and the Air Force, the Airborne Forces and the Strategic Aviation and Transportation.
” The supreme commander (referring to Putin) has posed the task of checking the combat readiness of troops to resolve crisis situations that threaten the country’s security,” said Shoigu.
He explained that the verification of the combat readiness of the troops will be carried out in two stages: the first will include deployment of military forces will go on until Thursday, and the second, which includes military exercises on land and air, will continue until March 3.
The defense minister said that all units participating in the exercise will return to their places of permanent deployment before 7 March.
Previous surprise military exercises in Russia took place in July last year and were the largest ones ever conducted in the country since the collapse of the Soviet Union. According to Russian Defence, these maneuvers involved more than 80,000 troops.