Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered his country to prepare for a “time of war” after recent enforcement on the eastern flank of NATO, the British media reported.
According to the Daily Mail and the Independent newspapers, Putin ordered a “snap check” of Russia’s armed forces to ensure they’re ready to fight. The snap combat readiness check was later confirmed by the Kremlin’s propaganda outlet, Russia Today.
The Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, reportedly said the country’s air force will be the first branch of the military to test its combat readiness.
According to Russia Today, separate drills were conducted by the air defence units of Russia’s Baltic Fleet in Russia’s western Kaliningrad region bordering Lithuania and Poland. “During the manoeuvres, the air defence units equipped with S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems repelled a massive attack of a simulated aggressor, involving both airstrikes and missile strikes.”
The United States has sent M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to assure its allies the US is committed to their defence.
In January, the 3rd Brigade of the US Army arrived in Europe with 3,500 soldiers, 144 Bradley fighting vehicles, 87 tanks and 19 Paladin artillery systems.
Cover: Russian fighter aircraft Sukhoi Su-27 (the image is illustrative.)