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Putin arrives at mil exercise site

March 29, 2013, 15:06 UTC+3

The Air Force, 36 warships, rapid-deployment troops of the airborne force, marines and special-purpose forces are participating in the manoeuvres

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ANAPA, March 29 (Itar-Tass) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in the Krasnodar Territory to watch the large-scale military exercises in the Black Sea area. He gave the order to begin the exercises on Thursday.

The president's plane flew to Anapa from Rostov-on-Don, where Putin participated in the first conference of the All-Russia People's Front. At the airport, the president took a helicopter, aboard which he will fly together with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu over the area of the manoeuvres.

The press secretary of the head of state, Dmitry Peskov, said on Thursday that a sealed envelope was brought to the defence minister at four o'clock in the morning on March 28. Thus the minister received the president's order to immediately start military exercises in the Black Sea area with the aim to check the combat readiness and coordination of actions of various forces.

According to Peskov, participating in the manoeuvres are 36 warships based in Sevastopol and Novorossiisk, the Air Force, rapid-deployment troops of the airborne force, marines and special-purpose forces of the Main Intelligence Department (GRU) of the General Staff – a total of up to 7,000 people. In international practice, it is not necessary to inform partners, including NATO, in advance if up to 7,000 people participate. “In accordance with the international practice, it is a sovereign right of any country to hold planned or sudden exercises,” the press secretary noted.

Landing at three training grounds in Russia is planned during the exercises, Peskov added.


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