00:43 GMT +326 March 2017
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    Soldiers at a military equipment storage, maintenance and repair facility in Novosibirsk. File photo

    NATO Watches Warily as Russia Conducts Snap Combat Readiness Test

    © Sputnik/ Alexandr Kryazhev
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    On Tuesday, President Putin ordered a snap inspection of the combat readiness of the Russian armed forces, which is set to last until June 22. The move has already raised concerns within NATO: the alliance is now wondering if it is a coincidence that the test comes during its own military drills in Poland, the largest since the end of the Cold War.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered another unannounced inspection of Russia's Armed Forces to assess the state and readiness of Russia’s military arsenals.

    The move by Russia comes as NATO holds the largest military drills in Poland since the Cold War.

    The two-week long Anaconda initiative, in turn, is designed to check “the alliance’s ability to defend its eastern flank,” according to Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz.

    More than 31,000 NATO servicemen from 24 countries as well as soldiers from Ukraine are taking part in the exercises. Around 14,000 US troops are also set to join in.

    However the alliance is accusing Russia of using its drills to “elevate tension and display military prowess.”

    Lukasz Kulesa analyst from London-based thinktank the European Leadership Network thinks it is no coincidence that the snap drill is taking place so close before next month's NATO summit in Poland.

    "I’m sure part of the reasoning behind starting the drills is to balance the coverage of the NATO exercises in Eastern Europe and Baltic Sea area, and send a signal that Russia won’t be intimidated by the perspective of the NATO summit," he said in an interview with the Newsweek magazine.

    "As the exercises unfold during the next days, we should see some training and mobilization of units also close to NATO territory, with displays of modern weaponry – all covered by the media," he added.

    “But, equally importantly, the exercise fits into the broader program of training of the Russian armed forces and its security apparatus. In previous years, the focus has been mostly on the higher-readiness land units, air force and nuclear forces. So it makes sense to the Russians to broaden the scope to include large numbers of the reservists, train usage of pre-positioned equipment, as well as protection of crucial infrastructure inside the country against internal unrest or sabotage.  But I would keep calm and not read it as preparation for World War III," the analyst concluded.

    The practice of having unannounced inspections of combat readiness was revived after Sergei Shoigu took the defense minister's office in 2012.

    In February, the Russian president ordered snap inspections of the country’s Central Military District. During the inspections, the troops were carrying out various drills to test their combat readiness. The checks also assessed the airborne forces' readiness for long-distance missions and landing in unfamiliar terrain.

    Related:

    NATO Drills in Poland Purely Defensive, Pose No Threat - Polish President
    Aggressive Agenda: NATO BALTOPS Drills Aimed at 'Isolating Russia'
    NATO Drills in Poland Not Contributing to Atmosphere of Trust - Kremlin
    Tags:
    combat readiness, military drills, NATO, Russian Armed Forces, Europe, Poland, Russia
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    • avatar
      anne00marie
      I bet there will be a lot of EU and US intelligence planes flying close to Russia's borders?
    • Mikhas
      "NATO Watches Warily as Russia Conducts Snap Combat Readiness Test"

      These fascist cowards should! Let alone that they totally lack the determination morale and will to die for a neo-fascist Polish or Lithuanian President, parading up and down the streets of the Baltic states and waving US flags is one thing, go to war against a determined super power that by their own estimates will overrun them within 60 hours, is quite another.

      Nobody will be "defended" by these cowards. They have 20 years experience of killing defenceless civilians living in clay hut´s and destroy their already by IMF and US mercenaries devastated nations. But they have no idea whatsoever how to take on and destroy a united and equal adversary they have lost to in every their attempts to do so in history.
    • avatar
      ivanwa88
      Way to go Russia! that's taken the starch out of there trousers the sound of tank tracks sonic booms and heavy artillery and the rockets (katushka) are seriously noisy.

      Send over a invitation for them to come an participate in live firing! perhaps ask them to come over an help find the million or so Axis forces buried and still undiscovered to be sent home? Im sure that many of the contingent would assist?
    • avatar
      jj42
      NATO started this madness of phony Russian threat,NATO no mach for Russia how can you get 20 plus countries to agree in a hot war by the time they have got their paper work in order it will be all over for them.
    • Jammy
      My guess is that most european states will sue for peace if Russia is ever forced to take the gloves off because they know that if things turn hot then they are only seconds away from death.

      Behind closed doors the US is holding a gun to our politicians heads and the bankers are playing Mr Nice Cop by handing out bribes but most of us know by now who is behind ISIS and who is fighting them and our voices are growning louder and we want the americans occupation force kick out of Europe because they are nothing more than trouble to us.
    • avatar
      cast235
      Russia now, have the time to again, prepare for 2020.. Then new equipment , Armata, stealth jets and what not will be out.
      Now is time to create troop performance. all Russian personnel SHOULD train daily. hand to hand, giving many berets per class.
      they should be capable of run, 33 K daily. FAST. And eventually with some gear on.
      Swim fast and dive.
      And teams should have explosives available when needed and be good and FAST , on assaults. This is just Russian reg troop's.
      Russia needs corridor's all around to train year round. With EVERYTHING training there. Even emergency services.
      THIS will finally get Russia ready for new century.
      Planes that can shoot thru windows and kill terrorists, Burn the room.
      and much much more.
    • avatar
      rishardhawk
      Excelent move by The Russian President Putin .
      May the tin solders of NATO shit their pents !
    • FlorianGeyerin reply toanne00marie(Show commentHide comment)
      anne00marie,

      Surely your use of the description "EU and US intelligence planes " is an oxymoron ?

      Just checking :)
    • avatar
      goldcamshaftin reply tojj42(Show commentHide comment)
      jj42, Indeed, the tower of Babel...many languages no way to communicate.
    • avatar
      goldcamshaftin reply toMikhas(Show commentHide comment)
      Mikhas, The dalia kid has been very silent in the past 9 months now that the firing power is focused on their lands.
    • avatar
      goldcamshaftin reply toJammy(Show commentHide comment)
      Jammy, there will be no peace. america has nothing to lose. the europeans have all to lose. america controls 29 war donkeys in europe with two bridles...the Eu bridle and the nato bridel. Just 2 bridles control the whole works with accompanying outriders such as australia, new zealand, canada et al.
    • avatar
      goldcamshaftin reply torishardhawk(Show commentHide comment)
      rishardhawk, It should have encompassed the entire duration of the nato play school games.
    • avatar
      goldcamshaft
      Opportune time for China to pull their us bonds. billions of dollars of equipment stranded without fuel to return home. ...a layman's assessment...stranded on the shores of the enemy.
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