President Putin Orders Large-Scale Military Drills on Black Sea

MOSCOW, March 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to conduct a large-scale military exercise in the Black Sea region without prior warning, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

“Today at 4:00 a.m. the president and the commander-in-chief ordered the defense minister to begin a large-scale military exercise in the Black Sea region,” Peskov said, adding that the main aim of the drills is to check combat readiness.

According to him, the exercise involves up to 7,000 military personnel and 36 warships joined by rapid deployment forces, as well as airborne and special task forces.

Peskov did not rule out the possibility that Putin, as commander-in-chief of the Russian armed forces, could monitor the exercise, but declined to say when that might happen.


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