MOSCOW: Russia launched a military drill on Monday, involving almost 80,000 servicemen.
Russia on Monday kicked off its large-scale week-long Caucasus 2020 (Kavkaz 2020) military exercises along with China, Belarus, Pakistan and several other countries.
The military exercises in Kavkaz this year are expected to focus on combating cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The main operations during the drill will take place in the North Caucasus, as well as in the Black and Caspian seas, all of which are part of the country’s Southern Military District.
Up to 1,000 servicemen from Armenia, Belarus, China, Myanmar and Pakistan were invited to practice joint actions, while the Iranian military vessels are expected to join naval exercises.
Representatives from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Indonesia, Iran and Sri Lanka plan to participate as observers.
The exercise will engage up to 250 tanks, 450 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 200 artillery systems and multiple launch rocket systems, informed the authorities. About 60 military transport planes to take part in Kavkaz-2020 drills.
About 60 Ilyushin Il-76 military transport planes have been moved to operational airfields as part of the Kavkaz (or Caucasus) 2020 military exercise that kicked off on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
“The flights were carried out from the planes’ home airfields in the Tver, Pskov, Orenburg, Ulyanovsk and Rostov regions. About 60 Il-76 military transport aircraft have been moved,” the statement reads.
According to the Defense Ministry, the distance of the flights was up to 2,000 kilometers.
The exercise involves about 80,000 personnel, including officers of the Russian Emergencies Ministry and the Russian Guard, as well as up to 1,000 troops from Armenia, Belarus, China, Iran, Myanmar and Pakistan.
About 12,900 troops are going to take part in activities covered by the 2011 Vienna Document of the Negotiations on Confidence-and Security-Building Measures.
Pak-Russia joint military exercises Druzhba (friendship) are held every year. The exercises started in 2016. These exercises include aspects of counter-terrorism and special operations. Other countries in the region were also invited to participate in the Kavkaz 2020.
However, India backed out from participating at the last minute. Defense experts suggested that India might have run away from the exercises because of the presence of Pakistan and China.