Examiner Monday was the first day of training exercises named “Kavkaz 2012″ (the Russian word for the Caucasus Mountains). It involved over 8,000 Russian military personnel using air defense, artillery, armored vehicles and some of Russia‘s most powerful rockets. It was one of the largest Russian military operations this year.
The war games will use dozens of aircraft and nearly 50 helicopters, simulating an invasion of Russian territory.
Addressing the troops at maneuvers in the Caucasus Mountain region on the country’s southern border, near where Russian troops invaded neighboring Georgia in a five-day 2008 war, Putin warned the “use of military force was rising worldwide.”
“You are all educated people, you see what is happening in the world. You see unfortunately that the use of force is increasing in international affairs,” said Putin, wearing a beige jacket, flanked by Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and the Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov.
“That all speaks to the fact that we should keep our powder dry and that Russia’s defenses must improve,” he said from a wooden podium, his eyes fixed on soldiers in uniform.
The war games kicked off September 17, 2012 at four different test grounds at a time.
Russia’s Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin was closely watching the war games.
He said that the Russian armed forces should “always be ready to defend Russia’s national interests and security.” The drills are due to last until September 22nd, 2012, according to Pravda.ru