Surprise drills begin in Russia's Central Military District

A commission chaired by Russian Armed Forces General Staff Chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov launched a surprise combat readiness inspection in the country's Central Military District on Friday.

A commission chaired by Russian Armed Forces General Staff Chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov launched a surprise combat readiness inspection in the country's Central Military District on Friday.

"Several motorized rifle and air defense missile divisions positioned on the territory of Urals and Western Siberia were alerted without any prior warning and are now being transported by road and rail to their destination areas many kilometers away," an assistant to the Central Military District commander, Col. Yaroslav Roshchupkin, told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

The soldiers are heading to unfamiliar training ranges, he said.

"Upon arrival, the servicemen will conduct live-fire exercises using their officially issued weapons," Roshchupkin said.

Several units will also carry out simulated operations to deal with the aftermath of imaginary natural emergencies, he said.

"The main goal of these events is to comprehensively inspect combat training exercises of the forces, as well as analyze the degree of their preparedness to accomplish tasks within the shortest possible period of time, the quality of their combat skills and coordination," he said.

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