Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered an urgent drill to test the combat readiness of the armed forces, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Shoigu said they would involve about 150,000 military personnel, more than 26 thousand military vehicles, 414 aircraft, 106 ships and vessels. The exercises will involve 35 training grounds and training fields, as well as 17 marine training grounds in the Black and Caspian Seas.
The drill involves army, navy and air force troops based in the western military district, a vast territory bordering Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, Finland and the Arctic.
The Russian defense minister issued instructions to implement the programs of troops’ combat training and cohesion during the drills and qualification exercises.
“The results of training measures held should be taken into account in assessing the level of the preparedness of military large units and formations for taking part in the Kavkaz-2020 [Caucasus-2020] strategic exercise [scheduled for September],” the defense chief said.
Also, the missile formation of the 58th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District, stationed in North Ossetia, has begun to march to one of the training grounds in the Stavropol Territory to conduct a tactical exercise.
More than 500 servicemen of the Southern Military District are taking part in the planned combat training event, about 100 pieces of equipment are involved, including the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system.
At the training ground in the Stavropol Territory, servicemen of the Southern Military District will practice electronic missile launches from the Iskander-M missile system at the enemy at a distance of up to 500 km.
The operational-tactical missile system is designed to destroy enemy multiple launch rocket systems, anti-missile, and air defense systems, aircraft and helicopters at airfields, command posts, and infrastructure facilities. The complex includes two types of missiles: ballistic and cruise.
At the same time, Ukraine is fearing that Russia will use massive military exercises to invade.
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar said that Ukraine needs to be mentally prepared for the fact that Russia will not stop using its armed forces for political and economic objectives.
“A significant number of military experts and analysts share the opinion about the possibility of a military offensive. NATO also understands how real it is to use Russia’s military potential against Ukraine, and its activation is possible in the near future. Therefore, we need to be mentally prepared for the fact that Russia will not stop using its armed forces for political and economic objectives,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.