Russian troops ordered to pull back after drills in southwestern Russia - Defense Ministry

Russian Armed Forces units taking part in routine military exercises at ranges in the Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk regions have been ordered by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to return to their permanent bases, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a press release.

Russian Armed Forces units taking part in routine military exercises at ranges in the Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk regions have been ordered by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to return to their permanent bases, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a press release.

"Following the completion of the exercises, which were conducted in field conditions at remote training ranges, the units will first reach the entraining station on their own and will then return to their permanent bases by rail," the ministry said.

According to the Defense Ministry, "the commanders working in the districts of the routine field drills are currently finalizing the itineraries and the order of [the units'] departure to the entraining station, while the personnel are engaged in dismantling the tents, loading the equipment and materiel and forming convoys of vehicles and armored tank hardware."

"After they load onto trains and return to their permanent bases, the units will continue their combat training at their local training ranges and training centers," the ministry said.

"Motorized rifle, tank, artillery, engineer, reconnaissance and other units have accomplished the whole set of training events in line with the plan for combat training at remote training ranges in the aforementioned regions [the Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk regions]," it said.

The latest drills centered on combat coordination and live fire exercises, as well as allowed the units' commanders to practice their skills of coordinating permanent and affiliated units. Their personnel, for their part, passed tests following the completion of the "winter training period."

Under the Russian Defense Ministry's regulatory documents, each year's combat training cycle consists of two periods - the winter training period ends on May 31 and the summer training period starts on June 1.

"All combat training plans for the year are formulated and specified in November, ahead of the beginning of a new "combat training year", which starts on December 1," the Defense Ministry said.

The Kremlin press service reported on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed Defense Minister Shoigu to order the troops participating in the drills in the country's Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk regions to return to their permanent bases.

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