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Over 1,200 troops airlifted to Russian Far East in surprise military drills

September 14, 2014, 12:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, September 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian military planes have performed over 30 flights to deliver more than 1,200 troops to the Eastern Military District as part of a surprise combat readiness check in the country’s east, the Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

The snap drills ordered by the Russian president from 10:00 a.m. Moscow time on September 11 involve over 100,000 troops of four armies, the command of the Air Force and Air Defense Troops, the Pacific Fleet, as well as the command of strategic and military transport aviation.

“Overall, Il-76 and An-124 Ruslan military transport planes have made over 30 sorties, airlifting about 200 tons of cargo and more than 1,200 personnel. The crews of military transport aviation are airlifting troops round-the-clock,” the Defense Ministry said.

The drills will last through September 18.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier the drills would focus on the tasks of troops’ regrouping for long-distance re-deployment.

This is not the first combat readiness check held since the start of this year. Late in February 2014, President Vladimir Putin ordered combat readiness checks of troops in the Western and Central Military Districts and in late June surprise checks were held in the Central Military District.

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