Russia Carried Out Snap Military Drills In Its Enclave Next To Poland

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the inauguration of World Diamond Conference in New Delhi December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmad MasoodThomson ReutersRussian President Putin attends the inauguration of World Diamond Conference in New Delhi

President Vladimir Putin ordered snap military drills in Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad region earlier this month, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.

The drills, which mobilized 9,000 soldiers and more than 55 naval ships, were carried out to test the military’s combat readiness in Kaliningrad, an exclave that borders NATO members Lithuania and Poland.

The drills were carried out between Dec. 5-10.

“The exercise involved units of missile troops, artillery, mechanised infantry, airborne troops, marine forces, units of reconnaissance, communications, logistics, as well as combat and military transport aircraft, helicopters and ships of the Baltic Fleet,” TASS news agency said, citing the Armed Forces General Staff.

Russia has carried out numerous snap military drills since ties with the West plummeted in the crisis over Ukraine and Moscow has criticised what it called a build-up of NATO forces near Russia’s borders.

Kiev and the West say some of those exercises carried out in western Russia near the border with Ukraine were used to increase pressure on Kiev and show support for pro-Russian separatists who took up arms in east Ukraine in April.

The report said all units of the armed forces used in the exercises had returned to their bases.

KaliningradGoogle Maps/Amanda Macias/Business InsiderKaliningrad is a seaport city and the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea.

(Reporting by Thomas Grove, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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