Russia holds strategic deterrence exercise as tensions with Ukraine escalate
The combat readiness of the troops and the reliability of the weapons were checked, the Kremlin said. Russia's Aerospace Forces, the Southern Military District, the Strategic Missile Forces, the Northern and Black Sea Fleets were involved in the drills.
MOSCOW, Feb. 19 -- Under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, Russia's strategic deterrence forces conducted large-scale drills on Saturday as the Ukrainian crisis has flared up.
Putin watched the exercise from the situation centre at the Kremlin together with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Russia's Aerospace Forces, the Southern Military District, the Strategic Missile Forces, the Northern and Black Sea Fleets were involved in the drills, according to the statement.
The Aerospace Forces launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, while ships and submarines of the Northern and Black Sea Fleets fired Kalibr cruise missiles and Tsirkon hypersonic missiles against sea and ground targets.
An Iskander ground-based cruise missile was launched from a training ground in the Astrakhan region in southern Russia, and a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from northwest Russia's Plesetsk cosmodrome against a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Tu-95MS strategic bombers fired cruise missiles, while the Karelia strategic nuclear submarine of the Northern Fleet launched a Sineva ballistic missile from the Barents Sea towards the Kamchatka Peninsula.
The Kremlin said that the strategic deterrence exercise was "planned previously," during which the combat readiness of the troops and the reliability of the weapons were checked.
All the tasks were completed in full and all the missiles hit the designated targets, it added.