Russia holds large-scale military drills in Crimea
Russia deployed cruise missiles, multiple rocket launchers, tanks and its latest anti-aircraft system at massive military drills in Crimea; Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov insists Russia did not pass the threshold of a maximum of troops at any point in time, thereby upholding international treaties.
The Russian Defense Ministry invited dozens of journalists Friday to a remote firing range on the Black Sea coast to display elaborate war games that involved paratroopers, tanks, cruise missiles launched from a submarine and the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system.
Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in April 2014 and since then has sent thousands of troops and heavy weaponry there.
The drills, which began across southern Russia and Crimea earlier this week and have involved a total of over 120,000 troops, are some of the largest exercises Russia has held for years.
The Chief of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, insisted in emailed comments that there have never been more than 12,500 troops involved in the drills at any given moment, which means that Russia did not violate any international treaties.