Putin Puts Russia's Western Military District, Northern Fleet on Combat AlertRussia | March 16, 2015, Monday // 11:33| views
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu (R) attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier, near the Kremlin during the national celebrations in occasion of the `Day of the Fatherland`s Defender`
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Northern Fleet, units of the airborne forces and the Western Military District on full combat alert from 08:00 Moscow time on Monday.
This was announced by Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu, who explained that these developments are part of snap checks, TASS news agency reports.
Monday's developments constitute the first public move of Putin since his "disappearance" from the spotlight early in March. They also come ahead of his meeting with Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev scheduled for later during the day.
According to Shoygu, the check will involve 38 000 military, 3360 units of equipment, 41 warships, 15 submarines and 110 planes and helicopters.
The checks will assess the capacity of the Northern Fleet to ensure Russia's military security in the Arctic.
The new challenges and threats to military security necessitated further improvement of the combat abilities of the armed forces.
As part of the snap checks, the Russian military will enhance the force grouping in Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land and eliminate a simulated enemy group of the navy.
The inspection, which will last until March 21, will also feature adherence to time norms, range practices and long-distance relocation of troops of special purpose.
Meanwhile, live firing exercises involving the Dagestan missile ship began in the Caspian Sea on Monday.
Since the beginning of the new year, Russia has organised 29 training exercises throughout its territory.