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Russian Armed Forces more mobile, combat ready - Putin

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Russia's Armed Forces have become more mobile and combat ready in recent years, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
MOSVOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Armed Forces have become more mobile and combat ready in recent years, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

"The country's missile-nuclear potential has been reinforced with Topol-M missiles," Putin said during an official ceremony involving recently-decorated military top brass.

"Permanent strategic aviation patrols have also been restored," he added.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by President Putin.

"The naval task force has carried out successful expeditions in the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans. New tactics were practiced at Shanghai Cooperation Organization exercises, at the CIS united air defense tests and during Russian-Belarusian military command war-games," said the Russian leader, who is nearing the end of his second and final term as president.

Putin also said the country's Armed Forces faced new and more complicated tasks, including a military education reform.

"The talk is about a new long-term program of military development until 2020 taking into account modern challenges and threats to Russia's national interests," he said.

In a speech on February 8, President Putin blamed the West for unleashing a new international arms race.

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