Putin orders large-scale military exercise in Black Sea region


Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the maneuver without prior warning Thursday on his way back from an international summit in South Africa. His spokesman said 36 warships and an unspecified number of warplanes would take part in Black Sea regional exercise “to check the readiness and cohesion of the various units.” DEBKAfile: The maneuver sends a hands-off warning on Syria from Moscow to the US and NATO.  

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