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Russia's defense minister reports to president on surprise military drill results

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says the surprise drills confirmed that troops in such a large numerical strength can deploy at a distance of more than 3,000km for 72 hours

MOSCOW, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin the results of surprise military drills in the Central Military District, in which more than 65,000 servicemen were involved and which confirmed that troops in such a large numerical strength can deploy at a distance of more than 3,000km for 72 hours.

“We will certainly continue this kind of work and convey the words of gratitude to all servicemen for what had been done at these military exercises," Putin said. 

“As these are actually the eighth surprise drills, certainly its results improve each time. Naturally, we conduct these surprise military drills to improve training of troops. This time, the Central Military District, two armies were put on alert. The Chief Command of the Air Force, Airborne Troops and Ground Troops were in command of military exercises,” Shoigu said. “In general, more than 65,000 servicemen, 177 warplanes, 56 helicopter gunships, 5,500 military vehicles and armoured vehicles participated in military exercises.”

“As for Airborne Troops, probably for the first time in many years a division with military hardware and an airborne assault brigade were airlifted for big distances of about 3,500km. All of them were deployed at three firing ranges. Those critical remarks, which we received after surprise drills in the previous year by the command system of the Airborne Troops, have been mostly rectified for this period of time,” Shoigu noted.

The defense minister reported to the president that the command system of the division was practiced. “An operations headquarters and a command post with operative links between aviation, drones and all ground forces were deployed. Meanwhile, we have drilled transfer of large formations at big distances,” Shoigu said.

“Naturally, we have laid as a basis a possible response on the border with Afghanistan related with withdrawal of coalition forces from that country and those threats which we already begin to notice on the border of our colleagues and partners in the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). All elements are drilled, military forces came back to their permanent bases, and the task was fulfilled,” the minister added.

In this case, armies and divisions were deployed not partially, but fully and all logistic support, including fuelling system, delivery of ammunition and fuels was provided, Shoigu said.