Russia places 38,000 troops on alert for snap exercises

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Russia placed its Northern Fleet and elements of its Western Military District (WMD) and Airborne Troops (VDV) on full combat readiness on 16 March in preparation for mobilisation and deployment test snap military exercises.

According to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, the tests involve more than 38,000 troops, 3,360 military vehicles, 41 ships and 15 submarines, as well as 110 aircraft and helicopters.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said the purpose of the manoeuvres is to evaluate the military security capabilities of the Northern Fleet and combined arms formations in the Russian Arctic against conventional force attack and reconnaissance and sabotage teams.

“New threats and challenges to military security require further enhancements to combat capabilities, focused particularly our newly formed northern strategic defence grouping [the Arctic Group of Forces],” Shoigu stated at the National Defence Control Centre in Moscow.

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