MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - Troops in Russia's Eastern Military District have been moved to the highest state of combat readiness as surprise drills began in the region, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.
"As part of a surprise check of the Eastern Military District troops' combat readiness, military formations and units located in the Eastern region of the Russian Federation have completed the implementation of measures to enter the highest degree of combat readiness," the ministry wrote in a statement.
Air defense and military units were put on full combat alert from 10:00 a.m. Moscow time [06:00 GMT] on Thursday. According to the Defense Ministry, a number of the district's airborne units are to carry out combat readiness drills on the Kuril Islands, near the city of Anadyr in the Chukotka Autonomous Area, and on the island of Sakhalin.
Paratroopers from Ulan-Ude and Ussuriysk will for the first time travel to training areas located over 4,000 kilometers (almost 2,500 miles) from their place of deployment, the ministry said.
In August, an unannounced inspection of the Eastern Military District's combat readiness took place and was a success. During the inspection, the district's coastal troops carried out vehicle marches and practiced air and harbor defense during a coastal defense simulation.