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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Armed Forces Complete Combat Readiness Snap Check

RIA Novosti

02:29 22/07/2013

MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) - A snap check of combat readiness of unprecedented scale in Russia's Far Eastern and Central military districts ended on Sunday.

The Defense Ministry will discuss the overall results of the exercise at a special meeting on Monday. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already described the results as "more than satisfactory," noting there has not been a single serious violation or failure.

The exercises involved five Russian armies, the Third Air Force and Air Defense Command including strategic aviation, and the Pacific Fleet.

Some 160,000 servicemen, about 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 vessels took part, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the snap drills on July 12. It is the third surprise combat readiness check since January and follows a major shake-up at the top of a military establishment tarnished by persistent evidence of rampant corruption.

The Defense Ministry has said snap inspections will be conducted on a regular basis to ensure constant combat readiness.

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