Russia says its aerospace forces are scheduled to conduct eight aerial and missile maneuvers in the southern part of the country this year.
“Overall, there will be eight Aerospace Defense Force drills in 2015 with air and missile defense units,” said Alexei Zolotukhin, the spokesman of Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces (VKO) on Sunday.
The official added that the war games would be carried out in the region of Astrakhan and will involve firing exercises with air defense missile systems.
Zolotukhin further said the Russian aerospace force would be equipped with new radar stations, radio equipment and missile systems.
The announcement came after the Defense Ministry unveiled plans to hold at least 4,000 military drills across Russia in 2015.
On February 10, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said Moscow plans to improve defensive capabilities amid rising threats from the US and its allies.
Patrushev said the US and its allies have opted for the path of confrontation with the Russian Federation, reminding that history shows Moscow will never be intimidated by the West’s threats.
The Moscow-West relations have sharply deteriorated after Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea rejoined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014.
Relations were strained further after Ukraine launched military operations in April 2014 to silence the pro-Russia protests in Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions of Lugansk and Donetsk in the east.
Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of supporting pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine, saying the Russian intervention poses a security threat to Ukraine and all other neighboring states. Russia categorically denies the allegation.