Tag Archives: Valery Gerasimov

Putin orders surprise drills to check combat readiness of central Russia forces

All Russian forces in Siberia, the Urals and beyond have been put on combat-ready alert, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said after President Putin ordered surprise drills.

Over 65,000 of Russia’s troops in the Central Military District have been put on alert to verify troops’ combat-readiness during massive war games of all branches of the armed forces. The exercises involve the relocation of military personnel and hardware, firing training and complex inspections.

“In accordance with president’s order, today starting from 11:00 Moscow time [07:00 GMT] all troops of the Central Military District have been placed in a state of full combat readiness,” Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at staff meeting.

The drills will last for a week, from June 21 through 28, Shoigu said.

Up to 5,500 military vehicles, 180 airplanes and 60 helicopters will participate in the drills, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov said, Interfax reported.

During the first 24 hours, the troops’ readiness for immediate deployment on a combat mission will be checked.

After that, military units will switch to tactical training, marching in battle formation to firing ranges for practice, Shoigu said.

Air Force units in the district will relocate planes to operational airfields to check their readiness for action in new locations. In particular, the 98th Airborne Division will be relocated from the Ivanovo Region of the Volga Federal District to the Urals for paratrooper jump exercises at the Chebarkul firing range.

The minister specifically ordered units to avoid any possible damage to civilian installations and infrastructure during the military drills, and to ensure the safety of military personnel, arms and hardware.

The June 21-28 drill is the second stage of general exercises in the Central Military District, Shoigu said. A special commission has already verified the general situation in the district and now the war games will give the picture of combat readiness of the troops stationed on a swathe of huge territory from the Volga River through the Urals Mountains to Siberia, and from the Kara Sea in the Arctic to the steppe on Russia’s southern border with Kazakhstan.

Shoigu said that the 28th and 35th Motorized Brigades began the training June 20, when both units were put on alert ahead of the rest of the military forces in the region.

The Russian army has staged a number of military drills this year. The most recent exercises took place less than a fortnight ago, when on June 10 the Russian military launched drills by its assault forces in the enclave of Kaliningrad in answer to the double war games being conducted by joint NATO forces on the territory of the three Baltic States.

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Ukrainian servicemen leave Navy base in Sevastopol as Crimea protesters storm HQ

Men, believed to be Ukrainian servicemen, with belongings walk past armed men, while leaving the territory of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

At least 30 Ukrainian naval personnel have left the Ukrainian Navy headquarters in the city of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula after demonstrators stormed the premises early in the morning.

Crimean self-defense troops have made a passage to let Ukrainian servicemen leave the territory of the HQ. Reports on the number of people to have left vary with ITAR-TASS saying around 50 personnel are gone, Rear Admiral Sergey Gaiduk of the Ukrainian Navy among them.

However, Kryminform says Gaiduk has been detained by the Sevastopol prosecutor’s office while RIA Novosti reports that his whereabouts is unknown.

People began protesting outside the HQ at 08:00 GMT. Several thousand participants cut fences, stormed inside and changed the flags on the flagpoles. Some of the participants of the rally were singing the Russian national anthem.

There were no immediate reports of violence.

A pro-Russian supporter takes down a Ukrainian flag after breaking into the territory of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

The protesters hoisted Russian and St. Andrew’s flags, the latter being the Russian Navy Ensign, according to Interfax.

There was an immediate alert on the territory of the HQ and the Ukrainian seamen lined up in front of the protesters, reports Interfax. The line was broken by cars belonging to activists that entered the territory.

The protesters were calling upon the Ukrainian servicemen to leave the HQ. An ambulance was also called as a precaution.

Ukrainian servicemen pass by armed men while leaving the territory of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

UkrStream.TV cameras which recorded the situation near the headquarters of the Ukrainian Navy show no violence on the precinct.

After the protesters entered the navy HQ territory, they began holding talks with the representatives of the Ukrainian Navy.

According to Sevastopol news websites, the Commander of the Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Vice-Admiral Aleksandr Vitko, later arrived to negotiate with Gaiduk.

Ukrainian officers abandon Sevastopol naval base

Ukrainian officers abandon Sevastopol naval base

After just 15 minutes of negotiations, Vitko left the grounds and refused to comment on the results of the talks with Gaiduk.

Before leaving, both rear admirals held talks with Admiral Yury Ilyin, the new Army chief and Admiral Viktor Maksimov, the head of Ukraine’s Naval Forces.

Earlier, there were reports of possible provocations. Some unidentified men tried to enter the building. However, the attempts failed due to Self-Defense Unit guards and Crimean Cossacks.

A man holds a Russian flag on the roof of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

Ukrainian armed forces commander Mikhail Kucin has informed his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov that he has authorized the use of military force by troops stationed in Crimea, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

In a phone conversation with Gerasimov, Kucin has emphasized de-escalation and a political solution to the crisis, rather than a violent one. The green light to use force has been given by him in the aftermath of the events in Simferopol, which have led to the death of one Ukrainian soldier and another from the Crimean Self-Defense Forces, while two others were injured.

On March 16, Crimea held a referendum in which over 96 percent of its citizens voted to join Russia. Two days later, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status, became federal objects of the Russian Federation.

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Crimea protesters storm Ukrainian Navy base in Sevastopol

A Ukrainian serviceman (C) passes by pro-Russian supporters and members of self-defence units as he leaves the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

Demonstrators have stormed the Ukrainian Navy HQ in the town of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula.

The protesters hoisted Russian and St. Andrew’s flags, the latter being the Russian Navy Ensign, according to Interfax.

People have been protesting outside the HQ since 08:00GMT. Several thousand participants have cut the fences, stormed inside and changed the flags on the flagpoles. There have been no immediate reports of violence.

The participants of the rally are currently holding talks with the representatives of the Ukrainian Navy. Russian forces are not party to the negotiations.

There was an immediate alert on the territory of the HQ and the Ukrainian servicemen lined up in front of the protesters, reports Interfax. The line was broken by cars belonging to activists that entered the territory.

The protesters are calling upon the Ukrainian servicemen to leave the HQ. An ambulance has been called as a precaution.

A Ukrainian naval officer (C) passes by armed men, believed to be Russian servicemen, as he leaves the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

 

Some of the participants of the rally have been singing the Russian anthem.

UkrStream.TV cameras which are currently recording the situation near the headquarters of the Ukrainian Navy show no violence on the precinct.

According to Sevastopol news websites, the Commander of the Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Vice-Admiral Aleksandr Vitko, has just arrived in the HQ of the Ukrainian Navy and negotiations are underway.

Vitko arrived at the HQ 30 minutes ago and is currently holding talks with Rear Admiral Sergey Gaiduk of the Ukrainian Navy.

After the negotiations, Vitko left the Ukrainian Navy HQ and refused to comment on the results of the talks with Gaiduk.

According to Reuters, nearly a dozen unarmed Ukrainian servicemen have walked out of HQ.

Earlier, there were reports of possible provocations. Some unidentified men tried to enter the building. However, the attempts failed due to Self-Defense Unit guards and Crimean Cossacks.

Ukrainian armed forces commander Mikhail Kucin, has informed his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov that he has authorized the use of military force by troops stationed in Crimea, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

In a phone conversation with Gerasimov, Kucin has emphasized de-escalation and a political solution to the crisis, rather than a violent one. The green light to use force has been given by him in the aftermath of the events in Simferopol, which have led to the death of one Ukrainian soldier and another from the Crimean Self-Defense Forces, while two others were injured.

On March 16 Crimea held a referendum where over 97 percent of its citizens voted for joining Russia. Two days later, the Autonomous republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status, became federal objects of the Russian Federation.

 

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