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'Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place'

Russia stages major training drill by rocket forces in Siberia

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27 March 2014


The 'command and staff exercises' from 25-29 March involve 10,000 servicemen and 1,000 units of military hardware. Picture: Russian Ministry of Defence 

Official statements did not link the training to the tense situation in Ukraine or the restoration to Russia of the Crimean peninsula and Sevastopol after 60 years. 

The 'command and staff exercises' from 25-29 March involve 10,000 servicemen and 1,000 units of military hardware, said RVSN Col. Igor Yegorov, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence. 'More than 30 units and divisions will take part in the drills,' he said, as reported by Interfax.

The goal was described as 'to assess the degree of coordination between the divisions, the performance of their command and servicemen as part of preparations to assume operational readiness, as well as their ability to operate in all kinds of situations and at any time of day and night'.

The drills will help analyse all of the aspects and criteria of these servicemen's combat readiness, combat duty, moral and psychological condition, as well as the quality of their efforts to combat terrorism, explained Col. Yegorov.

During the exercises, the missile regiments, their maintenance bases, weapons procurement and logistics battalions, as well as their defence and reconnaissance units will take part in simulated operations to enter combat duty in different patrol and field exercise areas, carry out joint engineer support operations, as well as tackle radiation, and chemical and biological reconnaissance tasks.

'Counter-sabotage groups' will be tested detecting and capturing a simulated adversary. The exercises are more than 2,000 km from Ukraine's borders and they come as tension between the West and Russia is at its highest since the end of the Cold War. 

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