Russia to carry out large-scale military drills in 2015

Russian sailors stand in formation in front of the Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France, onNov 25, 2014. Russia said on Dec 1, 2014, that it would ca
Russian sailors stand in formation in front of the Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France, onNov 25, 2014. Russia said on Dec 1, 2014, that it would carry out more than 4,000 military drills next year, with the largest involving "tens of thousands" of servicemen next summer. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday it would carry out more than 4,000 military drills next year, with the largest involving "tens of thousands" of servicemen next summer.

Russia has increased the number of military drills to test and improve its military capabilities as ties with the West deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine.

"The exercises will take place in the summer period simultaneously on several training grounds within Russia and abroad," Yaroslav Roshupkin, a spokesman for Russia's Central Military District, said of the planned Centre 2015 drills.

"They will be extended in time and bring together under unified command tens of thousands of servicemen of the Central Military District, branches and types of the armed forces, as well as other security ministries and agencies."

He said new weapons would also be tested during the exercises.

The Defence Ministry said next year's plans mark an increase from more than 3,000 drills carried out this year.