Russian army on high alert across the border

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Armed forces across Russia's entire western military district - which borders the Baltic states - have gone onto a state of high alert, Latvia's Defense Ministry reported Friday.

"For several days in the western military district large-scale Russian military exercises have been observed with a high state of combat-readiness among the 1st Tank Army and 20th Tank Army," the Ministry said.

That means that around 30,000 soldiers as well as heavy machinery units and about 500 tanks are currently on high alert just across the border.

In addition, the western military district is hosting the Collective Security Treaty Organization training exercise "Vzaimodeistvie 2016", which according to official information involves about 6,000 soldiers.

In addition dozens of ships of the Baltic Fleet, Northern Fleet and Black Sea Fleet have left port, the Ministry said.

Latvian armed forces and allies would continue to monitor the situation, it said.

However, a quick look at the Russian Defense Ministry's own website suggests the forces have already been on high alert for more than a week, as they put out a press release saying:

"Control units of tank and combined-arms formations located in the Moscow and Voronezh Regions, formations of Air Force and Air Defence, Baltic Fleet and several formations and military units are to practice controlling the troops (forces) while putting them on highest levels of combat readiness, organizing interaction between military formations of different branches and services of the Armed Forces while performing standard tasks.

"According to the scenario, troops (force) grouping is to hold operation at one of the strategic directions using wide range of means of destruction."

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