Russia holds largest post-Soviet military exercises

July 16, 2013 at 11:17 AM

YUZHO-SAKHALINSK, Russia, July 16 (UPI) -- Russia's largest post-Soviet military maneuvers under way near Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk received a surprise inspection by President Vladimir Putin Tuesday.

Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu took a helicopter ride over the area after watching the exercises from a viewing tower, The Moscow Times reported.

Putin ordered the surprise maneuvers last week.

They involve up to 160,000 personnel, some 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 naval ships.

The Defense Ministry said the drill in the Eastern Military District is the largest in the country's post-Soviet history.

It is designed to test the ability of troops to perform urgent relocation over a distance of more than 1800 miles.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Hyon Yong Chol disparaged Kim Jong Un prior to execution, analyst says
Officials debate 'when to suspend' search for missing Florida boys
In Khamenei Tweet, man resembling Obama holds gun to head
Aircraft debris found resembles part of Boeing 777 wing, source says
Gangs in El Salvador kill at least six bus drivers to intimidate government