Russia has accelerated military supplies to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan amid the conflict in Afghanistan.
The contracts planned for 2022 have already been executed, the head of the Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation said. Warplanes, helicopters and air defense systems left ahead of schedule for these countries.
In 2021, Russia delivered to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Su-30SM aircraft, Mi-35M helicopters, Buk-M2E anti-aircraft missile systems, BTR-80 and BTR-82A armored personnel carriers. This was announced to RBC by the director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugaev.
Also, these countries were supplied with multifunctional Orlan-10E UAVs, lightly armored vehicles Typhoon-K, and various small arms.
Shugaev noted that the decision to increase or reduce supplies is made by the buyer in agreement with the FSMTC, since we are talking about the control of obligations.
“That is, the countries adjacent to Afghanistan, our partners themselves determine, based on the needs and plans of their armed forces, how many weapons they need. Our main goal is to maintain stability in this region and fulfill the corresponding obligations,” he concluded.
Russia’s exports under the secret code at the level of four characters (SSSS), including the supply of aircraft, armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft missile systems, to Kazakhstan in January-August 2021 amounted to $ 35.6 million, to Uzbekistan – about $ 12 million, follows from open data statistics of the Federal Customs Service.
In August, the head of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, said that Russia had increased its arms supplies to Central Asian countries due to terrorist threats.
“In order to respond to the aggravation of the situation in the region and practice actions to repel terrorist threats, a number of joint exercises have been planned both on the territory of Uzbekistan and on the territory of Tajikistan. Additional supplies of weapons, equipment and military property have been organized within the framework of military-technical assistance,” he said.
Gerasimov added that Russia provides “methodological assistance in improving” the Armed Forces of Uzbekistan, and also prepares qualified personnel for them in Russian military universities.
One of the largest Russian military bases abroad is located in Central Asia – the 201st military base in Tajikistan.
Back in 2019, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in a conversation with RBC, explained the need to strengthen this base due to the proximity to the borders of Afghanistan and the terrorist threat emanating from there.
In August 2021, Shoigu promised to use this base in case of aggression from Afghanistan. The total length of the state border of Tajikistan with Afghanistan is over 1344 km. Of these, the river border is 1135 km, the land border is almost 190 km and the lake border is 19 km.
Military units and subdivisions of the 201st military base are deployed in two cities – Dushanbe and Kurgan-Tyube. By agreement with the Tajik authorities, the Russian army will remain in the country until at least 2042. The combat and special equipment of the 201st RVB in Tajikistan is constantly being improved.
The 201st Russian military base is on alert:
- S-300PS missile defense systems;
- 20 Verba MANPADS;
- Mi-8-MTV5-1 transport and combat helicopters;
- T-72B1 battle tanks;
- 100 armored personnel carriers BTR-82A, which are distinguished by increased firepower, crew protection and new communication systems;
- Esaul armored vehicles for the transportation of military personnel through dangerous locations;
- A Pole-21 radio interference unit;
- Oraln-10 UAVs and the more advanced Eleron-3 and Tachyon UAVs;
- A Silok anti-drone and EW system;
- 17 modernized infantry fighting vehicles (BMP-2M);
- a Uragan MLRS division;
- Kornet anti-tank missile systems.
The location is quite fortified, but the further deployments and deliveries to Central Asia are surely needed, as there is a significant threat of militants infiltrating over the border.
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