MOSCOW, September 7. /TASS/. Surprise checks in the Russian army pose no threat to neighbouring states, a top-ranking defence ministry officer said on Monday on the occasion of another inspection of combat readiness in Russia’s Central Military District.
"It is just another surprise check, like the ones that were held previously and those that will be organized in future," Sergey Koshelev, chief of the ministry’s international military cooperation department, told a briefing for foreign defense attaches.
"I would like to underscore one thing and ask you to bring it to the notice of your capitals. The key goal of such drills is to check combat readiness of the Russian Armed Forces and such checks pose no threat to either of neighbouring countries," he stressed.
Koshelev noted that the briefing he was holding was a manifestation of good will of the Russian Defense Ministry. "We are obliged to organize such briefings under none of our international agreements. But we want our partners, defence attaches working in Moscow to understand the goals and tasks of what we are doing," he said.
According to General Staff Main Operations Department Head Andrey Kartopolov, about 95,000 troops, over 7,000 pieces of combat hardware and around 170 aircraft will be involved in a surprise combat readiness check of Russia’s Central Military District.
"Overall, the exercise will involve about 95,000 personnel, over 7,000 pieces of armaments and combat hardware and around 170 aircraft," he told a news briefing for foreign military attaches on the surprise combat readiness check.
"For the purpose of raising the confidence level and increasing the transparency of military activity, we continue the practice of informing about measures of troops’ training, including surprise checks conducted on instructions from the Russian president and in accordance with the Defense Ministry’s plans," Kartapolov said.
Apart from the forces of the Central Military District, aircraft from other military districts, airborne troops and military transport aviation will be involved in the check that will last through September 12.
Besides, the snap exercise will check the actions of federal and regional authorities in wartime. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said this check will involve the Health Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, the Industry and Trade Ministry, the Federal Medical and Biological Agency, the Federal Fisheries Agency, the Federal Agency for State Reserves and the administrations of the Republic of Bashkiria in the Urals, the Novosibirsk Region in Siberia, the Samara Region in the Volga area and the Chelyabinsk Region in the south Urals.
Kartopolov noted that some episodes of a surprise check that started in the Central Military District on Monday will take place at the Ashuluk testing range near Astrakhan in the Southern Military District.
"Separate anti-aircraft defense episodes will be drilled at the Ashuluk testing ground /the Astrakhan region/ of the Southern Military District," Kartapolov said.
"The troops will be pulled out to the four main grounds -Totsky and Donguzsky /the Orenburg region/ as well as Chebarkulsky /the Chelyabinsk region/ and Aleisky /the Altai territory/," Kartapolov went on to say. He added that the four testing areas were in zone of responsibility of the Central Military District.
"The troops will drill most episodes of practical maneuvers at the same grounds during the future Tsentr-2015 exercises," the general said.
According to Kartapolov, the Russian Defense Ministry will pay special attention to aviation units as well as to paratroopers’ ability to move to large distances and readiness to land on an unfamiliar territory.
The surprise combat readiness inspection of the forces of Russia’s Central Military District was started on Monday on the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces. The forces of the Central Military District and part of aviation of other military districts, Airborne Forces and Military-Transport Aviation were put on full combat alert at 09:30, Moscow time on September 7. The inspection will last until September 12.