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Putin Orders Snap Combat Drills In Central Military District

President Vladimir Putin has ordered snap combat-readiness drills in Russia's central military district.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on September 7 that the exercises involve paratroopers and military transport aviation as well as some aircraft from other military districts.

"We have to check the capabilities of paratroopers when they are deployed over large distances and their readiness to make landings on unknown aerodromes," he said.

The minister added that the war games, which run to September 12, are also designed to test the Health and Agriculture ministries' "readiness to carry out their tasks in wartime conditions."

The central military district ranges from the regions around the Volga River to the Ural mountains and Siberia, while also including far northern Russia.

Russia has intensified snap checks of its military might, as the crisis in Ukraine sent relations between the West and Moscow to lows not seen since the Cold War.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa