Russia Begins Biggest Military Exercises of 2015, Involving 95,000 Troops

Conor Gaffey
Russia military parade

Russia began its largest military exercise of 2015 on Monday, with some 95,000 troops taking part, state media agency TASS reports.

According to TASS, the drills will also involve more than 7,000 pieces of military equipment, up to 170 warplanes and 20 ships. The planned exercises were launched in the Central Military District, where Russian President Vladimir Putin also ordered snap drills to take place last week.

The Central Military District has its headquarters in Yekaterinburg and spans Russia's Siberian and Central Asian territories. The drills will also involve units from the armed forces of Kazakhstan, which is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization—a Russian-led counterpoint to the NATO military alliance.

The exercises are being led by General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The drills will test the military's readiness to deal with a potential international armed conflict and the destruction of illegal armed groups, according to TASS.

Russian military drills have increased in size and frequency as the crisis in Ukraine continues. Moscow held a offensive on the Baltic states.

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