Defense minister: Drills prove Russia's ability to quickly field forces to several areas

bug


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

People:

Subjects:

Places:

 

Photos:


FILE - In this Tuesday, May 7, 2013 file photo, Russian Iskander missiles make their way through Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia. Russia plans to station state-of-the art missiles to its westernmost Baltic exclave and deploy nuclear-capable bombers to Crimea as part of massive war games intended to showcase the nation's resurgent military power amid bitter tensions with the West over Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)


FILE - In this Friday, May 9, 2014 file photo Russian bombers Tu-22M3 fly in formation during a Victory Day Parade, which commemorates the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany in Moscow, Russia. Russia plans to station state-of-the art missiles to its westernmost Baltic exclave and deploy nuclear-capable bombers to Crimea as part of massive war games intended to showcase the nation's resurgent military power amid bitter tensions with the West over Ukraine. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)


FILE - In this June, 2001 file photo a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber takes off from an airfield somewhere at undisclosed location in Russia. Russia plans to station state-of-the art missiles to its westernmost Baltic exclave and deploy nuclear-capable bombers to Crimea as part of massive war games intended to showcase the nation's resurgent military power amid bitter tensions with the West over Ukraine. (AP Photo/File)


Russian Black Sea fleet sailors shout as they march during a military parade in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Russia on Wednesday marked the one year anniversary of the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. (AP Photo/Alexander Polegenko)


Russian Black Sea fleet sailors take part in a military parade in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Russia on Wednesday marked the one year anniversary of the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. (AP Photo/Alexander Polegenko)


MOSCOW — The Russian military has proven its capability to quickly deploy large forces to far-flung areas during massive war games that have spread from the nation's western border to the Pacific, the defense minister said Wednesday.

The show of military might comes as Russia marks the one-year anniversary of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, which triggered the worst Russia-West crisis since Cold War times.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday that about 76,000 troops, over 100 ships and more than 200 aircraft are taking part in Arctic maneuvers this week. At the same time, the military is conducting similar drills across Russia — from the westernmost Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad to the Pacific.

As part of the drills that began Monday, paratroopers were scrambled from their bases across Russia and airlifted to distant areas, marines practiced landing on a frigid Arctic coast and air force jets flew to the Kaliningrad region sandwiched between NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

Shoigu said at a meeting with the top brass that the military has successfully conducted a quick build-up of "combat capability in the Arctic, in the Baltics and in Crimea."

The war games, which were ordered by President Vladimir Putin, include the deployment of state-of-the art Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad and long-range nuclear-capable bombers to Crimea.

The chief of the military's General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, on Wednesday visited a Northern Fleet submarine equipped with nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles as he oversaw the drills.

Speaking in a documentary broadcast by state television Sunday, Putin said that he told Western leaders during the Crimean crisis that he will do what it takes to defend what he views as Russia's vital interests.

He said that Russia was ready to bring its nuclear weapons into a state of alert during the tensions over Crimea. "We were ready for the most negative turn of developments," Putin said in the documentary.

All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Click here to read our privacy policy.