Medvedev inspects southern shooting range

President Dmitry Medvedev, who’s also Russia’s Commander-in-Chief, has inspected the readiness of his troops.

Medvedev visited a military training exercise – which included tanks, planes, and heavy artillery – at “Raevsky” range in the city of Novorossiysk, Russia’s main port on the Black Sea.

Also, he was shown the weapons and equipment that airborne troops use.

The president noted a 122-millimetre howitzer. “I know it well; I used to fire it,” he said.

After discovering that the soldier's kit weighs from 40 to 60 kilos, Medvedev wondered if it’s heavy to carry. But the soldiers said it was “OK”.

Some of the weapons shown to the president were used last August in the South Ossetian war.

Medvedev was also shown foreign weapons that are used in some units of the Russian military.

After inspecting all the hi-tech air and ground weaponry, the president got aboard the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

“For the past few years, the level of intensity of the military games held by the Russian Army has increased many times. And that is the right thing, because the main task of these exercises is to check our military’s readiness to repel any aggression from any direction,” Medvedev said.

“The main lesson we should learn from last year’s events in South Ossetia, when Russia was forced to give a tough response, is that we need to carry out full-scale military exercises on a constant basis,” he added.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, for the second time in two days, Russia successfully tested a ballistic missile launched from the Bryansk nuclear submarine.

The Sineva missile, able to travel 8,000 kilometres, came into service in 2007. It is powered by liquid fuel, not the solid fuel that powers the Bulava or the land-based, mobile Topol-M.

The test launch displays the increasing number of options Russia is able to deploy in its strategic arsenal.

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