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Putin Orders Russia's Northern Fleet to Full Alert for Drills

16.03.2015 14:40

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Vladimir Putin gave the order to bring the country's Northern Fleet to full alert for combat readiness exercise Monday.

"The main task of the combat readiness drill is to assess the armed forces from the Northern Fleet's capabilities in fulfilling tasks in providing military security of the Russian Federation in the Arctic region," Sergei Shoigu said. Russian Defense Minister added the Northern Fleet was brought to alert at 8:00 a.m. Moscow time (05:00 GMT) and includes 38,000 military personnel, 3,360 pieces of equipment, 41 ships, 15 submarines, and 110 airplanes and helicopters.

"New challenges and threats of military security demand the further heightening of military capabilities of the Armed Forces and special attention will be paid to the state of the newly formed strategic merging of forces in the North," he said. The exercises are to be held on land, in sea and air and will run till March 20.