Russia to continue its snap military drills: Putin

Moscow, Feb 12 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that current regular large-scale snap military drills were a success and such exercises should be continued.

“The practice of conducting such snap inspections should be continued. We are seeing that the practice itself works well and allows consistent raising of combat readiness of the army and navy, as well as coordination of units,” Putin said during a video conference with military officials participating in the Southern Military District exercises, Xinhua reported.

Involving a total of 8,500 troops, 900 military vehicles, 88 warships and 200 aircraft, snap drills began Monday to inspect the combat readiness of troops stationed in the Southern Military District.

Some troops from the Central Military District, which includes Western Siberia and the Urals, are also participating in the exercises.

The practice of unexpected massive checks of combat readiness of Russian troops was introduced by Putin in 2013. Since then Russia had held regular snap drills in various parts of the country.

Putin on Thursday praised the personnel involved in the Southern Military District drills for demonstrating the best performance and professionalism.

Putin added that the drills confirm the troops’ willingness to reliably ensure Russia’s security in the south-western strategic direction including the Crimean peninsula, according to an official online transcript.

Moscow has been accusing North Atlantic Treaty Organization of its military deployment in several member states neighbouring Russia.

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