Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered snap drills by the country’s Air Force to evaluate its preparedness against potential aggression, according to the Russian defense minister.
The minister, Sergei Shoigu, said an inspection was launched on Tuesday “in accordance with the order of the Armed Forces Supreme Commander,” a reference to President Putin.
The Russian president emphasized that “special attention should be paid to combat alert, deployment of air defense systems for a time of war and air groupings’ readiness to repel the aggression,” Shoigu explained, adding that Putin thus ordered tactical drills at all relevant military bases and within all relevant units.
The military drills are the latest in a series of Russian maneuvers aimed at strengthening the armed forces.
Western media have, meanwhile, accused Moscow of preparing to start an aggression. This is while Ukraine, a country in conflict with Russia, has been carrying out naval exercises along with six NATO members in the Black Sea near Russia.
According to Romania, which is hosting the war games, 16 warships and 10 warplanes along with some 2,800 troops from Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Canada, and the US are taking part in the naval drill.
NATO, which has suspended all ties with Moscow since April 2014, has also deployed thousands of its troops as well as military hardware near Russian borders.
Russia had previously warned that it would take unspecified measures to respond to the increased activities by the Western military bloc.
The armed conflict in Ukraine’s east has soured relations between Russia and the West.