Putin Oversees Massive Far East Military Drills
USPENSKOYE (Sakhalin Region), July 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw military maneuvers in the country's Far East on Tuesday as part of the largest snap check of combat readiness of the Russian military in the post-Soviet period.
Putin, who as president is supreme commander-in-chief of Russia's armed forces, arrived at the Uspenovsky military testing site by helicopter on Tuesday.
He was briefed there by military district commander Konstantin Sidenko and then mounted an observation deck to watch the maneuvers, which were part of a snap drill ordered by the Russian leader on Friday to start early Saturday and due to end on July 20.
The president then overflew the exercise area in a helicopter, accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Sidenko.
The exercise, in which about 160,000 servicemen, 5,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 Pacific Fleet warships have taken part, is the latest in a series of random combat-readiness checks that began in February. The Defense Ministry has said snap checks are to be conducted on a regular basis to ensure constant combat readiness.
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