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Putin orders surprise Black Sea military exercises

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) hands over medals to servicemen at a naval base near the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, on September 17, 2012. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered surprise military exercises in the Black Sea region Russian 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.