Putin orders Russia to conduct biggest war games since Soviet era.

Kremlin_Moskow_2“Russia is in the midst of its biggest war games since Soviet times, with 160,000 troops, 130 planes, 70 ships and thousands of tanks and armored vehicles participating in the country’s Far East,” reports CNN. “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the drills last Friday and they began that night, according to reports from the RIA Novosti news agency. Putin flew to Sakhalin island off the eastern coast to oversee the games on Tuesday, Russia’s presidential press service reported.”

“The main purpose of the activities is to check the readiness of the military units to perform assigned tasks and evaluate of the level of personnel’s training and technical preparation as well as the level of equipment of units with arms and military equipment,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement reported by Russian Television….Some of the units involved in the exercises moved more than 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) from their bases to participate, according to the Russian media reports. The current drills, which are expected to last through the week, are the latest in a series of snap exercises conducted by the Russian military this year.”

“President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia can be proud of its military, which has shown a ‘high degree’ of combat readiness during the nation’s biggest war games in more than two decades,” reports AP.

“Today we can be proud of our army,” Putin said.

“The Kremlin has launched an ambitious arms modernization program that envisages spending over 20 trillion rubles (more than $615 billion) on new weapons through 2020,” notes AP.

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