Russian fighter jets will take part in exercises on thwarting a potential attack over the Barents Sea, off the coasts of Russia and NATO member state Norway.
The Russian military said on February 26 that MiG-31 interceptor aircraft were taking part in the initial part of the exercises at an air base in the Perm region.
During the next stage, to be launched in the coming days from Monchegorsk air base in the northwestern region of Murmansk, crews will intercept missiles and planes of an imaginary army.
The drill is to end on March 6.
Russia's ex-Soviet neighbors in the Baltics and other NATO members have voiced concern over an increase in Russian air activity around Europe and a series of drills since the start of the conflict in Ukraine.
On February 25, Russian soldiers took part in drills in Pskov region bordering NATO and EU members Estonia and Latvia.
The drills, which will see some 1,500 paratroopers parachute en masse, were to continue until February 28.
Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and AFP