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Russian Black Sea Military Exercises Wind Down

A Russian warship takes part in military exercises in the Black Sea on March 28.
The surprise military exercises in the Black Sea Russian President Vladimir Putin called for are reaching their conclusion.

On March 30, warships conducted live firing drills in what Russia's Defense Ministry said was the final phase of the exercise.

The fire from vessels of Russia's Black Sea Fleet was accompanied by a landing of ground forces with support overhead from Su-24 warplanes.

The Defense Ministry said all the warships and troops would be back at their bases on March 31.

Putin gave the order for the exercises early on March 28.

The drill came after several Russian units were unable to mobilize and deploy quickly when they received a surprise command for exercises in February.

The Defense Ministry said on March 30 the forces involved in the Black Sea exercises had fulfilled all their objectives.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax