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A map showing the location of the Black Sea an...

A map showing the location of the Black Sea and some of the large or prominent ports around it. The Sea of Azov and Sea of Marmara are also labelled. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Russian military honor guard welcomes U.S....

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Agence France-Presse (Published on Hurriyet Daily News), March 28, 2013Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered surprise military exercises in the Black Sea region involving 7,000 troops and dozens of ships to test the army’s battle readiness, the Kremlin said.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said 36 ships from the Russian Black Sea Fleet‘s base in the Ukrainian Crimean city of Sevastopol and the Russian port of Novorossiisk would be involved in the exercises… (more)