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Russian military brings some air and sea forces to combat-readiness in drills ordered by Putin

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting of the Victory Day celebrations organizing committee in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Russia's foreign minister says the leader of North Korea is among 26 world leaders who have accepted invitations to Moscow to take part in celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Sergei Ilnitsky, Pool)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting of the Victory Day celebrations organizing committee in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Russia's foreign minister says the leader of North Korea is among 26 world leaders who have accepted invitations to Moscow to take part in celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Sergei Ilnitsky, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE In this Tuesday, March 18, 2014 file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a treaty for Crimea to join Russia during a signing ceremony after addressing the Federal Assembly in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Russia marks one year anniversary of annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula this week. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    FILE In this Tuesday, March 18, 2014 file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a treaty for Crimea to join Russia during a signing ceremony after addressing the Federal Assembly in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Russia marks one year anniversary of annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula this week. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, May 7, 2013 file photo, Russian Iskander missiles make their way through Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia. Russia plans to station state-of-the art missiles to its westernmost Baltic exclave and deploy nuclear-capable bombers to Crimea as part of massive war games intended to showcase the nation's resurgent military power amid bitter tensions with the West over Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, May 7, 2013 file photo, Russian Iskander missiles make their way through Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia. Russia plans to station state-of-the art missiles to its westernmost Baltic exclave and deploy nuclear-capable bombers to Crimea as part of massive war games intended to showcase the nation's resurgent military power amid bitter tensions with the West over Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Russian military says it has brought some of its forces to the highest stage of combat-readiness as part of sweeping maneuvers in the Arctic and elsewhere in Russia.

President Vladimir Putin issued the order Monday for five days of drills to check the readiness of Russia's Northern Fleet and the military's ability to deploy additional forces from central Russia.

The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that units from the Baltic Fleet, Southern Military District and Airborne Forces had been brought to full combat readiness.

The ministry said about 50 warplanes and helicopters will be redeployed within the next day to northern airfields, while three groups of naval ships have entered the Barents Sea.

The war games come as Russia-West ties are strained over the Ukrainian crisis.