Russian troops' combat readiness enhanced: defense minister

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Russian troops' combat readiness has been enhanced, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.

During Vostok-2014, the large-scale military exercise in Russia 's Far East, the troops involved demonstrated efficient command and "a better degree of combat preparedness," Shoigu said.

The Vostok-2014 strategic military exercise in the Eastern Military District is taking place from Sept. 19 to 25. It was preceded by combat readiness snap checks.

"This large-scale event of operational and combat training of the Eastern Military District was a logical continuation of an unannounced combat readiness check carried out on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin," the minister said.

He added that high intensity of combat training and snap checks contributed to the growth of the training level of military administrations and teamwork of units and formations.

"More than 155,000 servicemen, some 8,000 units of military hardware, including over 4,000 armored vehicles, 632 aircraft, and 84 ships, are taking part in the exercises," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Shoigu as saying.

Tasks to protect Russia's interests and security are being practiced at the drills, according to Shoigu.

During the exercises, nuclear submarines successfully launched P-700 Granit anti-ship cruise missiles, while Russian guided- missile cruiser Varyag hit the target with a P-1000 Vulkan cruise missile, said the minister as he reported to Putin about the exercises.

Putin said Vostok-2014 is "the largest event of this type that we have ever conducted." He asked Shoigu to present a thorough report after the exercises, as well as analysis of all the problems revealed.

Four days earlier, a multinational military exercises led by the United States, code-named "Rapid Trident" 2014, kicked off near the western Ukrainian town of Yavoriv to reinforce peacekeeping operations with allied and partner countries.

Russia has been enhancing its military strength by conducting snap drills from time to time, when the relationship between Russia and the West, the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) in particular, deteriorated by the five-month-long conflict in eastern Ukraine. Endite

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