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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's Strategic Missile Forces Start Snap Combat Drills

RIA Novosti

16:01 23/07/2013

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Over 2,500 servicemen and 350 weapons systems are involved in snap combat readiness drills for Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN), a Defense Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

The drills, involving the headquarters and two missile divisions of the Orenburg Missile Army in Russia's Urals region, began Monday and are set to run through Saturday, Col. Igor Yegorov said.

As well as providing an opportunity to evaluate service personnel and equipment in these units for efficiency, the drills also test weapons systems' operational readiness, establishing if they can be deployed within a set timeframe, Yegorov explained.

The exercise is the latest in a series of snap drills that have taken place across Russia since the start of the year.

Last week saw "unprecedented" drills in the Russian Far East testing the Far East and Central Military Districts' combat readiness. The drills involved over 160,000 servicemen, 130 aircraft, 5,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 70 Pacific Fleet warships, five Russian armies, the Third Air Force, Air Defense Command and strategic aviation.

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said: "Such exercises have not been held since the Soviet era, or perhaps even during that period."

The Defense Ministry has said snap inspections will be conducted regularly.

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