Russia says drills prove ability to quickly deploy forces

AP News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2015 10:41 AM
Russia says drills prove ability to quickly deploy forces

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's defense minister says the military has proven its capability to quickly deploy large forces to distant areas.

Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday that about 76,000 troops, over 100 ships and more than 200 aicraft are taking part in Arctic maneuvers this week. At the same time, the military is conducting similar drills across Russia — from the westernmost Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad to the Pacific.

Shoigu said, according to Russian news agencies, that the military has successfully "built up a multi-branch combat capability in the Arctic, in the Baltics and in Crimea."

The war games, intended to showcase Russia's revived military might, come amid a bitter strain in relations with the West over Ukraine. They include the deployment of state-of-the art missiles to Kaliningrad and strategic bombers to Crimea.