Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in the Black Sea town of Anapa to personally oversee surprise military exercises he ordered.
Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled on March 29 by helicopter to observe the performance of Russia’s military forces.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov said on March 28 that the Black Sea exercises would involve less than 7,000 troops, which he said was a number that did not require giving prior notice to neighboring countries.
The exercises will reportedly involve 36 warships and an unspecified number of warplanes.
The Defense Ministry said the exercises would include a beach landing at an area on the Caucasus coast.
Putin’s unexpected order early on March 28 to conduct the drill came after several Russian units were unable to mobilize and deploy quickly when they received a surprise command for exercises in February.
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax