Russia’s Defence Ministry said on March 5 that large-scale military exercises had started in southern Russiaand in disputed territories on Russia’s borders.
The exercises involve over 2,000 anti-aircraft troops and 500 items of weaponry and will last until April 10, Interfax news agency reported.
The Defence Ministry said the exercises were taking place in Russia’s Southern and North Caucasus Federal Districts, as well as on Russian military bases in Armenia, the Georgian separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Ukraine’s Crimea region, which Moscow annexed last year.
At a news conference in Moscow unrelated to the exercises, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said NATO activities on Russia’s borders far exceeded anything the Russian military was undertaking.
“NATO states are using the situation in the south-east of Ukraine as an excuse to … move forward, closer to Russia’s borders,” Interfax quoted Antonov as saying.