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Iran Press TV

Russia's Putin orders snap military drills in southwest

Iran Press TV

Friday, 17 July 2020 10:44 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the military to go on high alert for snap military exercises in the country's southwestern region, which is facing "a serious threat of terrorism."

The Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday that the Commander-in-Chief ordered the snap exercises to be held in order to ensure "security in Russia's southwest," the Moscow Times reported.

"In accordance with the decision of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces snap exercises are being conducted by troops of the Southern and Western military districts," said Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

He said the military exercises aim to assess the troops' ability to provide military security in Russia's southwest where serious terrorist threats persist and to prepare for the Caucasus-2020 strategic command and staff exercise.

The drills, involving 150,000 soldiers, over 26,000 weapon systems, more than 400 aircraft and 106 warships will be conducted in the Black and Caspian Seas, among other places.

Russia is scheduled to hold the Caucasus drills in September.

The military said formerly that the wargames will become the most important event of the Russian Armed Forces' combat training.

Troops from some 17 countries would take part in the military exercises.

To the Southwest, Russia borders Belarus, Finland, Ukraine and NATO members Latvia, Norway and Estonia.

The US has been deploying missiles in Eastern Europe and near Russia's western borders, a provocative move repeatedly denounced by Moscow.

Its bombers and spy planes, as well as NATO aircraft, have frequently been detected in the vicinity of Russia's borders in recent years.

Moscow, which has repeatedly warned the US against deploying NATO forces near its borders, said any increased military presence in Poland could provoke Russian retaliation and prompt it to step up its military presence in neighboring Belarus.

It has also repeatedly warned the US and its NATO military allies against conducting "provocative" war games near its borders.

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