COMBAT TRAINING A CHECK FOR CRIMEA

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COMBAT TRAINING A CHECK FOR CRIMEA
COMBAT TRAINING A CHECK FOR CRIMEA

Alexei Nikolsky

Vedomosti, August 26, 2016, p. 2

On Thursday morning, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced beginning of a sudden check in accordance with resolution of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. It is organized on the eve of strategic exercises of the Southern Military District Caucasus-2016 planned for this year and touches troops of the Southern Military District, a part of forces and means of the Western and Central military districts, Northern Fleet, Airspace Forces and Airborne Forces.

A SUDDEN CHECK WAS ANNOUNCED IN THREE MILITARY DISTRICTS, AIRSPACE FORCES AND AIRBORNE FORCES

On Thursday morning, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced beginning of a sudden check in accordance with resolution of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. It is organized on the eve of strategic exercises of the Southern Military District Caucasus-2016 planned for this year and touches troops of the Southern Military District, a part of forces and means of the Western and Central military districts, Northern Fleet, Airspace Forces and Airborne Forces. Shoigu explained that in the course of the exercises it was necessary “to evaluate readiness of the military district to deploy self-sufficient groups of forces in the shortest possible time” and “to check ability of the Western and Central military districts for increasing of efforts in the southwestern strategic direction.

Matters of territorial defense should be also checked too (some formations of these forces will be partially mobilized for this purpose), as well as interaction with the power bodies and enterprises of military industry. Besides fulfillment of the tasks set for the troops and command bodies Deputy Defense Minister Tatiana Shevtsova is also ordered to check the system of “financing of the command bodies and troops in the southwestern strategic direction during switching from peacetime to wartime modes” and Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Antonov is ordered to notify the foreign military attaches about the check. The check will last until August 31.

Press service of the Defense Ministry reported that the seventh airborne assault division and the 56th airborne assault brigade and the 136th mechanized infantry brigade, Caspian Flotilla and the 549th air base of army aviation and some other formations of the Western Military District were alerted during the check.

According to Colonel Victor Murakhovsky, this is not a specifically intended action for the purpose of pressurizing of Ukraine because strategic exercises like Caucasus-2016 are organized in turn once per year in all military districts and this year it is the turn of the Southern Military District again. Along with this, he points out that since the moment of adoption of the plan of defense of the state in 2014 the territorial defense forces formed then, local power bodies and industrial enterprises are involved into sudden checks increasingly often. The expert reminds that the sudden check is not a big-scale exercise of the troops (unlike, for example, Caucasus-2015 exercises that this check precedes) and separate military units only indicate their participation and the check deals with staffs and command system first of all.

Nonetheless, in the context of aggravation of the situation in Donets Basin and recent incident in Crimea this check may be viewed as a training in deployment of a layered group against Ukraine, a person close to the Defense Ministry admits, and hence as means of pressurizing of Ukraine. But because no real movement of contingents to the border with Ukraine is planned in the course of the sudden check or in the course of Caucasus-2016 exercises this suspicion is ungrounded.

 

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