Russian President Vladimir Putin has scrambled troops across southwestern Russia for large-scale military drills intended to test the troops’ readiness amid continuing tensions with the West. Defense minister Sergei Shoigu said that military units were put on combat alert early on Monday, marking the launch of the exercise that involves troops of the southern military district. The district includes troops stationed in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, as well as forces in the North Caucasus and southwestern regions near the border with Ukraine.
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