MOSCOW, Sept 3 The forces responsible for
Russia's strategic nuclear arsenal will conduct major exercises
this month involving more than 4,000 soldiers, the Defence
Ministry said on Wednesday, in the latest sign of rising tension
with NATO over the Ukraine crisis.
In an announcement a day before the start of a NATO summit
in Wales, RIA news agency quoted the ministry as saying the
exercises would take place in Altai in south-central Russia and
would also include around 400 technical units and extensive use
of air power.
The agency quoted Dmitry Andreyev, a major in the strategic
rocket forces, as saying troops would practice countering
irregular units and high-precision weapons, and "conducting
combat missions in conditions of active radio-electronic jamming
and intensive enemy actions in areas of troop deployment."
He said enemy forces would be represented in the exercises
by spetsnaz (special forces) units.
Supersonic MiG-31 fighter-interceptors and Su-24MR
reconnaissance aircraft would take part, Andreyev said, saying
the scale of air power involved was unprecedented for exercises
of this kind.
Both Russia and NATO have stepped up military manoeuvres
since the outbreak of conflict in Ukraine between government
forces and pro-Russian separatists in the east of the former
A Kremlin security adviser said on Tuesday that Russia would
update its military doctrine this year in the light of the
Ukraine crisis and the sharp deterioration in relations with
(Reporting by Mark Trevelyan, Editing by Timothy Heritage)