The snap combat readiness drills of Russia’s Armed Forces are being held as scheduled and are preparations for the Kavkaz-2020 military exercise, and thus have no connection with the escalation between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin told reporters on Saturday, TASS reports.
The deputy defense minister strongly dismissed any link between the combat training activities held by the Russian Armed Forces and the escalation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border.
“These checks are being conducted as planned and are a major part of preparations for the Kavkaz-2020 (Caucasus-2020) strategic command and staff exercise,” Fomin said.
The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that on July 20 Fomin would hold a briefing for foreign military attaches to inform them about the snap combat readiness drills.
Fomin recalled that the surprise combat readiness drills have been held by the Russian Armed Forces since July 17 following an order by Russia’s Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin. The drills involve about 15,000 service members, about 400 aircraft, over 26,000 weapons and military hardware, and over 100 vessels.
“Currently, the troops are on high alert, finishing concentration in designated areas and preparing for combat training tasks. Forces, formations and military units are assigned the task of operational and combat training activities at 35 firing ranges and 17 maritime firing ranges, which shows a large spatial scope and scale of the snap drill,” Fomin said.