Kremlin orders test of combat readiness in west

Associated Press photo by RIA Novosti/Mikhail Metzel -- Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting Wednesday with Fyodor Andreyev, right, president of Russian diamond mining company ALROSA in the Novo-Ogaryovo presidential residence outside Moscow. Show caption
Associated Press photo by RIA Novosti/Mikhail Metzel -- Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting Wednesday with Fyodor Andreyev, right, president of Russian diamond mining company ALROSA in the Novo-Ogaryovo presidential residence outside Moscow.

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin has reportedly ordered an immediate test of combat readiness of troops in central and western Russia.

Russia’s state news agencies are quoting Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying that Putin ordered the test at 2 p.m. Moscow time on Wednesday.

The report did not mention Ukraine, one of Russia’s western neighbors, where months of protests have forced a pro-Russia president to go into hiding.

The Kremlin was unable to confirm the order. The defense ministry was unavailable for comment.