MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Up to 8,500 servicemen, 900 units of military hardware, 50 ships, 200 warplanes and helicopters are expectedto be involved in the combat readiness inspection in Russia’s Southern Military District, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Monday.
He said the Russian Defense Ministry had informed representatives of the military diplomatic corps about the tasks and goals of the surprise combat readiness check. "Work is being done at the instruction of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu to explain the goals and tasks of the surprise inspection. I would like to stress that events of the inspection do not fall under the parameters of the Vienna document of 2011 on trust and security building measures that require obligatory notification of European partners," Antonov said. "Nevertheless, as a manifestation of good will, we have informed our European partners of the basic parameters of the surprise combat readiness check via channels of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The event covered by the Vienna document of 2011 will involve up to 8,500 servicemen, up to 900 units of hardware, about 500 warships and up to 200 warplanes and helicopters."
He said this information had been referred to the military diplomatic corps in Moscow by diplomatic notes. "Taking into account the fact that the maneuvers will involve forces of the Central military district, we also informed of them representatives of China and South Korea," he said.
"Apart from that, the main operations department of the Russian armed forces’ General staff held a briefing for military attaches in Moscow to give more details about the exercises that are geared to drill skills in repelling terrorist threats and liquidate consequences of natural and man-made disasters," Antonov said.
The inspection, in his words, will be followed by another briefing for representatives of the military diplomatic corps accredited in Moscow. "I reiterate that we are open for a professional dialogue with all parties concerned, including representatives from the European Union and NATO," he underscored.