- The Washington Times
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered most of the nation’s soldiers stationed near the western region to take part in a massive military exercise — a nationally televised announcement that is likely to stoke tensions further with the Ukraine.

The exercise is to “check the troops’ readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation’s military security,” said Defense Minister Sergeir Shoigu, after a meeting of top military chiefs in Moscow, The Associated Press reported.

He said Mr. Putin ordered the training session Wednesday. The soldiers will be on high alert for the first two scheduled days of the exercise and then move to the shooting range for further training, Mr. Shoigu said, AP reported.

The maneuvers themselves will kick off Friday and span four days, he said. It’s not just a land exercise. The training will use ships in the Baltic and in the Northern Fleets, as well as the air force, AP reported.

Mr. Shoigu didn’t mention the Ukraine while announcing the mission, AP reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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