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    Aerospace Forces Snap Drills Prove Air Defense Can Protect Russia From Threats

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    Snap military exercises conducted by the Russian Aerospace Forces confirmed their readiness to protect the country from all modern and prospective air and space-based threats, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Aerospace Forces carried out on February 7-9 snap drills involving 46,000 personnel and some 1,800 pieces of military equipment.

    "The inspection confirmed the need of a comprehensive approach to the protection of important infrastructure from air- and space-based strikes. It also proved the ability of the Aerospace Forces to accomplish the set tasks and to ensure the protection of the country from all modern and prospective air and space-based threats," Shoigu said at a meeting with top military brass in Moscow.

    The Russian Aerospace Forces snap checks that began on February 7 ended on February 9. The Russian Aerospace Forces' S-300 and S-400 missile systems were relocated to new positions and were tracking possible targets as part of unannounced combat readiness inspections.

    The combat strength of Russia's Eastern Military District was increased in 2016 to ensure the country's national interests in the Asia-Pacific region, Shoigu said.

    "For this, the Eastern Military District conducted a great amount of work in 2016 to optimize the organizational structure, build up the troops' combat strength, equip units with new and modernized weapons and military hardware as well as to increase the intensity of operational and combat training," Shoigu said.

    "As a result, the district's combat strength increased by more than 10 percent," he said.

    In late December, Putin said that combat readiness checks confirmed the possibility of rapid deployment of Russian troops at long distances.

    Shoigu added that Russia's Defense Ministry would continue to test its system capable of countering air- and sea-launched cruise missiles in the Eastern Military District.

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    military drills, Sergei Shoigu, Russia
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