World / Europe

Putin orders combat readiness for central military district

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-21 19:01

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin has ordered the troops in Russia's Central Military District on full combat readiness for a snap check, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday.

"In line with this order, as of 11:00 am Moscow time (0800 GMT) today the troops of the Central Military District and also military units deployed on its territory are put on full combat readiness," Shoigu told a ministry meeting.

The check, which will run through June 28, could involve more than 65,000 servicemen, he said.

In particular, Shoigu ordered the Airborne Forces commander "to airlift the 98th Airborne Assault Division using military transport aircraft for 1,500 km from its permanent base in Ivanovo to the Chelyabinsk region, with an airborne drop at the Cherbarkul range," the Interfax news agency reported.

The unnoticed check of armed forces, which Putin has done several times since 2013, came a day after the Russian troops started snap drills near Chelyabinsk in the southern Urals.

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