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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Putin Approves 'Unmatched' Far East Exercise Results

RIA Novosti

15:44 17/07/2013

CHITA, July 17 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin praised the Russian military's performance Wednesday in an extensive snap check of combat readiness of unprecedented scale in Russia's Far East this week.

Putin, supreme commander-in-chief of Russia's armed forces, who oversaw the maneuvers at the Tsugol military testing site 250 kilometers from the city of Chita, said the Russian military had demonstrated high combat readiness and effectiveness. He described the overall results of the exercise as "more than satisfactory", noting there has not been a single serious violation or failure.

'Such exercises have not been held since the Soviet era or perhaps even during that period," Putin said after overflying the exercise area in a helicopter accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Over 160,000 servicemen, five Russian armies, the Third Air Force and Air Defense Command including strategic aviation, and the Pacific Fleet have been involved in the exercises, Putin said, stressing the operation was not simply an exercise but a snap combat readiness check.

On Tuesday afternoon, military units proceeded with the second stage of the exercise, ordered by Putin Friday to start early Saturday and due to end on July 20. The exercise, in which 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 inspections will be conducted on a regular basis to ensure constant combat readiness.

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