MOSCOW – Russia put its Northern Fleet, including certain units of the Western Military District, and its airborne troops on full alert on Monday for combat readiness exercises, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
Quoted by local news agencies, Shoigu explained that the decision was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to evaluate the Northern fleet’s combat capabilities and consider the possibility of increasing their numbers in the central regions of the country.
“New challenges and threats of military security demand the further heightening of the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces,” Shoigu said.
The military drills started early Monday morning and will continue until Saturday.
The minister noted that the drills include reinforcing troop mobilization to the islands of Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land, but also defending Russia’s borders by land and air, extending to the northern reaches of the country, and destroying the naval grouping of a simulated enemy.