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Russia Holding Biggest Annual Military Drills

Russia's biggest annual military exercises are under way.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, about 95,000 soldiers are taking part in the drills, along with dozens of military jets and naval ships.

The military maneuvers, dubbed Center-2015 and set to last seven days, are taking place mostly in Russia's Central Military District, which comprises the Ural Mountains and Siberia.

Kazakh forces are also set to participate as part of a post-Soviet military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

A statement from the Russian Defense Ministry said the drills aim to assess the readiness of the CSTO to handle an "international armed conflict" and defeat "illegal armed units."

The drills come as leaders from the CSTO are due to meet for a summit in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, on September 15.

Based on reporting by Interfax and dpa

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