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Tue Sep 18, 2012, 07:03 PM

Putin Watches War Games, Tells Soldiers To Boost Russian Defence [View all]

By Thomas Grove

MOSCOW, Sept 17 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin oversaw Russian military exercises on Monday and warned soldiers that more conflicts around the world meant they had to "keep their powder dry" and improve Russia's defences.

Speaking to soldiers at manoeuvres in the Caucasus Mountain region on the country's southern border, near where Russian troops invaded neighbouring Georgia in a five-day 2008 war, Putin said the use of military force was rising worldwide.

"You are all educated people, you see what is happening in the world. You see unfortunately that the use of force is increasing in international affairs," said Putin, wearing a beige jacket, flanked by Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and the Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov.

"That all speaks to the fact that we should keep our powder dry and that Russia's defences must improve," he said from a wooden podium, his eyes fixed on soldiers in uniform.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/17/russia-putin-wargames-idUSL5E8KHOX820120917

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