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Armed Forces Conducting Combat Readiness Drills

Snap combat readiness drills started Wednesday in two of Russia's military districts.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that snap checks began at 2 p.m. Moscow time and involve units of the Western military district and the Second Guards Army of the Central Military District, and commands of Aerospace Defense Forces, Airborne Troops, Military Transport Aviation and Long-Range Aviation.

The decision to initiate the checks was not made in connection with the unrest in Ukraine, Shoigu added.

The exercises are held in line with orders from President Vladimir Putin, who is the supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Last year, Russia held at least six snap combat readiness checks of the armed forces. A surprise exercise in July was the largest in the post-Soviet era and involved some 160,000 servicemen, about 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 warships from the far-eastern and central military districts.

The Defense Ministry has said that snap checks are to be conducted on a regular basis to ensure constant combat readiness.

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