Russia begins war games to test troops

Moscow, Sep 6 (IANS) Russian defence forces have begun a massive exercise to test combat readiness and cooperation between different branches of the country’s military.

“The exercises aim to check the level of readiness of the military command bodies to control inter-service groupings of forces, commanders and staffs will gain experience in planning, preparation and conducting of combat operations,” Sputnik news cited the Russian Ministry of Defence as saying.

Russia will use S-400 and S-300 long range anti-aircraft missile systems together with Pantsir-S1 to “fire at the air targets simulating the entire spectrum of air attacks at all altitudes and speeds”, Xinhua news agency cited the ministry as saying in a statement.

Pantsir-S1 is a combined short-to-medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapons system.

The drills will also test new military equipment in field conditions, including the country’s top-of-the-line combat helicopters, fighter jets and battlefield tanks, the defence ministry added.

The exercises by over 12,500 servicemen, including Navy, Airborne and Aerospace units, began here on September 5.

The exercises will involve Crimea and also feature cooperative efforts of the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Sea Flotilla.

They come after Moscow accused Kiev of sending saboteurs into the Crimean Peninsula to carry out terror attacks in August.

The war games, code-named ‘Caucasus 2016’, will be carried out over six days till September 10.

–IANS

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