12:23 Sep. 9, 2016
Moscow regards the occupied Ukrainian peninsula as a part of its southern military region
Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu has arrived in Crimea which is due to host one of the key stages of the Caucasus 2016 military drills, Russian TASS news agency reported on Friday referring to the Ministry's spokesperson Igor Konashenkov.
"The defence ministry's head will personally inspect the actions of staff and forces during the Caucasus 2016 strategic drills," Konashenkov said.
During the drills the joint force grouping will train to repel attacks of a simulated enemy, the spokesman said. "All types and branches of forces involved in the exercises will be engaged during this stage of manoeuvres," he added.
According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Caucasus 2016 exercise has allowed the army commanders to practice the organisation and interaction with other security forces in special operations.
The Caucasus 2016 army drills are taking place across Russia's southern military region, which encompasses volatile North Caucasus and the annexed Crimean peninsula. The drills involve some 12,500 servicemen Even the Russian navy in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea are also taking part in these exercises, which will run until September 10.