Russia Displays Show of Force with Military Drills

Reuters/Baz Ratner Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, walk outside a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol in this 2014 file photo.

Russia demonstrated a large show of force this week by holding military drills consisting of its entire Northern Fleet in the country’s Arctic northern region.

The demonstration included the first public appearance of Russian President Vladimir Putin in ten days. Putin reportedly dispatched his country’s entire Northern Fleet, including 40,000 troops and more than 41 warships, 15 submarines and 110 aircraft to the Arctic North to carry out the military drills in the area that neighbors Norway.

“The main task of the drill is to assess the armed forces from the Northern Fleet’s capabilities in fulfilling tasks in providing military security of the Russian Federation in the Arctic region,” Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shoigu said in a statement1 Monday.

“New challenges and threats of military security demand the further heightening of military capabilities of the armed forces and special attention will be paid to the state of the newly formed strategic merging (of forces) in the North,” Shoigu added.

Russia’s state-run media reported that Putin ordered the show of military force “to full alert in a snap combat readiness exercise.”

The practice of the Northern Fleet comes as the U.S.

and other Eastern European NATO countries partake in military drills of their own near Russia’s border.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald2, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksey Meshkov said his country was “deeply concerned about the increase in exercises of NATO countries close to our borders”.

Meshkov added it was “particularly surprising that this takes place in the north-eastern region of Europe, which is the most stable in security terms, not only on our continent but possibly in the world.”

References

  1. ^ statement (www.cnn.com)
  2. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald (www.smh.com.au)

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