It is believed that the Russian military exercise in Crimea serves as a warning to their opponents. Russia showed its powerful military capabilities.
The military exercise took place in Crimea yesterday and involved 12,500 troops, cutting edge S-300 missiles, fighter jets and tanks.
Paratroopers also practiced a mass landing, as well as igniting a flaming wall of napalm at the Opuk training range on the Black Sea coast.
It comes just two years after Russia annexed the region from Ukraine in a move that sparked a global outcry.
The drills will stoke fears President Vladimir Putin is preparing to invade eastern Europe.
Igor Konashenkov, a defence ministry spokesman, said of the hair-raising display of firepower: “On such a scale and with the deployment of different force groupings, such drills are being held for the first time.
“This training range is the biggest on the Crimean peninsula, which allows for such exercises to be held.
“‘Strategic drills are essential to military training in Russia in 2016.”
But he denied there were any “politics” behind the organised drill, saying it had been planned for months and was nothing to do with the country’s strained relationship with the West.
Some of President Putin’s closest military advisors, including defence minister Sergei Shoigu and general staff head Valery Gerasimov, were also there to watch the drills.
Mr Konashenkov also issued a veiled warning that any attempt to move into Crimea will be fought of by Russia.
He added: “The troops really are training here to make sure that everything is guaranteed – security is ensured.
“Crimea is protected now, it was protected yesterday and it was protected a year ago.
“Crimea is part of Russia and the country protects it like any other region.”
It comes as last month the country deployed military hardware in northern Crimea in a further dispaly of its military might.