More than 15 warships of the Russian Black Sea fleet and more than 10 ships of the Caspian flotilla put out to sea as part of a sudden large-scale test of combat readiness.
This was announced by the Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Russian Ministry of Defence.
“Sudden checks on combat readiness of the armed forces of the country began the day before. It will last until August 31,” BBC quotes the Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu as saying.
According to Shoigu, the purpose of the verification is to practice the "full cycle of the immediate preparation of the armed forces to defend the interests of the Russian Federation upon the increasing threat to its security."
“Another goal of the testing is to evaluate the Army's ability to quickly increase the combat readiness in the south-western direction,” added the head of the Defense Ministry.
Among the warships that put out to the sea are the frigate "Admiral Grigorovich," rocket ship "Samum" and "Mirage", patrol ship "Smetlivy", small antisubmarine ships "Aleksandrovets" and "Kasimov" missile boats, mine-sweeping ships, large landing ships "Nikolai Phylchenkov", "Azov", "Yamal", "Caesar Kunikov" and "Saratov".
Washington monitors closely the checks on combat readiness of Russian armed forces.
“We hope that Russia will fulfill all relevant obligations under existing agreements, and provide the necessary information to neighbors about the extent and nature of these actions,” said Pentagon spokesman Michel Baldansa.
These drills have become the largest in Russia over the past year and a half.
In recent years, such tests of readiness have become more frequent. There was a check of combat and mobilization readiness of the Russian army in June. In March, the similar check was carried out in the airborne troops with participation of about 30 thousand people.
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