We are ready! Russia’s army, navy and air force hold huge drills – Putin sends warning.
THOUSANDS of Russian troops have completed a mass military drill in Crimea as tensions with Ukraine remain high.
Hundreds of warplanes and dozens of ships took part in the largest Russian operation since it seized Crimea in 2014. According to the Russian Defence Ministry the exercise involved over 10,000 troops and 1,200 military vehicles.
Sporadic fighting has continued in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian troops and Russia backed separatists.
Moscow has threatened to use force if Ukraine attempts to retake its territory using force.
Separately Russia is ordering its troops to return to their main bases according to the RIA news agency.
It claimed the country had completed a “snap inspection” of its southern and western forces.
It is unclear whether this means all Russian troops along the Ukrainian border will be removed.
Following the announcement the Russian rouble rose sharply in value.
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu commented: “I believe the objectives of the snap inspection have been fully achieved.
“The troops have demonstrated their ability to provide a credible defence for the country.
“In this regard, I have decided to complete the inspections in the southern and western military districts.”
Western powers feared Russia could be preparing an invasion sparking frantic diplomacy.
President Joe Biden spoke to Vladimir Putin earlier this month urging the Russian leader not to mount an attack.
Mr Shoigu observed the Russian Crimea exercise personally flying over the Opuk firing range in a helicopter.