Russia Starts Massive Air Defense Drills Amid Crimea Standoff

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 6, 2014

Russia Starts Massive Air Defense Drills Amid Crimea Standoff

MOSCOW: Russia’s Western Military District has begun large-scale air defense drills at its southern testing range of Kapustin Yar on the backdrop of further escalation of tensions with the West over Ukraine.

Kapustin Yar, located some 450 kilometers (280 miles) east of the Ukrainian border, will host about 3,500 troops and over 1,000 units of military hardware for about a month. The exercise will culminate with live-firing drills, involving S-300, Buk-M1 and other air defense systems.

“It is for the first time that all air defense units from the district, including coastal defenses of the Northern Fleet, have gathered in one place,” said the district’s spokesman, Col. Oleg Kochetkov.

“It is the largest-ever exercise held by air defense units of the Western Military District,” Kochetkov said, adding that the drills were part of a…

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