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    RUSSIA * PRESIDENT * MEETING * DEFENSE-MINISTRY

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    MOSCOW, March 1, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- At a meeting of the Russian President with the government members this Monday, acting Defense Minister of Russia Sergei Ivanov reported on the results of the latest military exercises.

    "I would like to single out the actions of land troops from among the episodes that were not covered by the mass media," Sergei Ivanov said.

    According to him, the dispatch of troops from the Siberian and the VolgaUrals military districts to the country's west showed good combat teamwork.

    "Such inter-theater training exercises should be held regularly," he stressed, noting that the Defense Ministry planned to practice such dispatches in the future as well.

    Speaking about the actions of the Air Force, Sergei Ivanov said that 55 sorties had been made, including six sorties by long-range aircraft. Two launches of cruise missiles were effected and "the targets were destroyed," the Defense Minister added.

    At the same time, the exercises revealed some shortcomings. "I shall report on them separately following the results of their analysis," Ivanov told Vladimir Putin.

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