MOSCOW, June 21 (Xinhua) -- President Vladimir Putin has ordered the troops in Russia's Central Military District on full combat readiness for a snap check, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday.
"In line with this order, as of 11:00 a.m. Moscow time (0800 GMT) today the troops of the Central Military District and also military units deployed on its territory are put on full combat readiness," Shoigu told a ministry meeting.
The check, which will run through June 28, could involve more than 65,000 servicemen, he said.
In particular, Shoigu ordered the Airborne Forces commander "to airlift the 98th Airborne Assault Division using military transport aircraft for 1,500 km from its permanent base in Ivanovo to the Chelyabinsk region, with an airborne drop at the Cherbarkul range," the Interfax news agency reported.
The unnoticed check of armed forces, which Putin has done several times since 2013, came a day after the Russian troops started snap drills near Chelyabinsk in the southern Urals.
Ukrainian president unveils peace plan to end fighting in eastern regions
KIEV, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday unveiled a plan aimed at peacefully resolving the conflict in eastern regions, where government troops had been fighting with pro-Russia armed activists.
The document, published on the presidential website, has offered unilateral ceasefire and an amnesty to those rebels who have not committed "serious crimes" as a part of concessions to insurgents.Full story
Russia hopes to boost diplomatic ties with Ukraine
MOSCOW, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Russia hoped the newly-nominated Ukrainian Foreign Minister would help promote constructive, diplomatic cooperation between the two countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced the expectation while having a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin over the phone Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.Full story
Ukraine's ceasefire statement sounds more like ultimatum: Kremlin
MOSCOW, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's statement on ceasefire looks more like an ultimatum to the insurgents in Ukraine's southeastern regions, the Kremlin press service said Friday.
"A primary analysis shows that this is not an invitation to peace and talks, but an ultimatum to Ukraine's southeastern militias to lay down arms," the press service added, "it lacks a key element - a proposal to start talks."Full story
Ukrainian parliament approves new FM, other key posts
KIEV, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Pavlo Klimkin became his country's new foreign minister on Thursday after the parliament voted on several key posts.
The 46-year-old veteran diplomat, nominated by President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday, is one of the authors of Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union. Full Story