Wednesday, May 02, 2012 -
Russian war games are underway in the mountains of southwest Tajikistan.
The Kremlin’s 201st military force is executing the operations with the designated target of locating, blocking, and destroying potential enemies in mountain areas.
The maneuvers are taking place the Khatlon province bordering Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
Operations involve a three-pronged convergence of troops from the Tajik capital Dushanbe, Khatlon provincial capital city Qurghonteppa, and the province’s second city Kulob on firing grounds at a Russian military base, according to a Central Military District press release by Russian authorities.
The exercises are designed to test collaborative abilities of different units while developing new fighting techniques.
The training will combine combat methods using a variety of weapons and combat vehicles, the Tajik-based AsiaPlus.tj news agency reported the military source as saying.
Soldiers are expected to navigate mine fields and all types of wire barriers. Around 500 land mines will be used in the war games, as well as 2,000 grenades and some 15,000 cartridges, it said.
Also next month, the member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will hold military drills in Tajikistan.
The joint exercises are part of regular joint war games between the security membership, which comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan said it will not participate in the drills.
Though diplomatic tensions between the two countries are very tense, it is not unusual for Uzbekistan to bow out of SCO exercises.