The Russian Defense Ministry announced the beginning of a large-scale inspection of the combat readiness of the armed forces, which will span all Russian military districts and the Northern Fleet.
According to Interfax, during the month of April, the Russian armed forces will hold 4,048 exercises of various scale at a hundred training sites and 520 training facilities. "All types of troops of the Armed Forces will be involved in the readiness checks," the Defense Ministry said.
The beginning of the exercises was announced by the Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoygu, at a conference at the National Defense Management Center of the Russian Federation. "I want to ensure high quality of control, training and security in the movement of military echelons and military equipment," Shoygu said.
On Tuesday, the Air Force crews, and Air Defense Regiment of the Eastern Military District conducted drills practising air combat against a hypothetical enemy in the Primorsky Krai. The frigate of the Pacific Fleet Marshal Shaposhnikov launched a Kalibr cruise missile from the Sea of Japan.
The Russian exercises started amid the escalation of the situation in the Donbas and statements of Kyiv and Washington about the buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian borders.
The day before, the U.S. State Department called on Moscow to give clarifications in connection with the deployment of troops and equipment, but received a refusal from the Russian Foreign Ministry. The U.S. "should be satisfied with the explanations that were given earlier," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.
Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin held talks with their Ukrainian counterparts, each promising Kyiv "unwavering" support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Words immediately turned into actions. According to Interfax, at least three U.S. Air Force military transport planes have arrived in Ukraine in the last four days.
C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III flew to Kyiv from the American airbase Ramstein in Germany.
Another military transport plane, Boeing C-17, after a transatlantic flight from the United States, landed in Lviv.
In addition, a British transport aircraft Bae 146-200 flew to Kyiv from the Polish city of Poznan, where the U.S. V Corps Forward Command is located.