Approximately 80,000 military and emergency services personnel will take part in the Kavkaz-2020 joint strategic military exercise, scheduled to be held in Russia from September 21 to September 26. The large-scale exercise will include participants from several countries that are among Russia’s closest neighbours and allies including China, Belarus and Pakistan.
At a press conference on Monday the Russian Defence Ministry stated:
“Overall about 80,000 people are expected to be involved in the Kavkaz-2020 strategic command and staff exercise (including combat support units, combat service support units and technical support units, as well as air defence and naval units, and special troops (the Federal National Guard Troops Service and the Ministry for Emergency Situations).”
It is expected that up to 250 tanks, 450 mechanized infantry fighting vehicles and APCs, as well as up to 200 artillery systems and multiple-launch rocket systems will participate in the exercise.
The exercise will be held under the command of Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov.
The Russian Defence Ministry added that five other countries have been invited to take part in the Kavkaz-2020 exercise, and it is expected that military units from those countries (Armenia, Belarus, China, Myanmar and Pakistan) will participate in the live fire drills, with a total of up to 1,000 foreign military personnel joining the exercise.
Representatives from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Sri Lanka also plan to participate as observers, according to the Ministry of Defence’s statements.
The Defence Ministry’s Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper has reported that approximately 100 Chinese military have already arrived in Russia’s Astrakhan region to participate in the Kavkaz-2020 command and staff exercise.
“Two Y-20 military transport aircraft of the Chinese Air Force with military of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army on board have arrived in the Astrakhan region.” The aircraft brought an undisclosed cargo of military hardware along with the soldiers.
Prior to leaving for Russia, the Chinese military were tested for coronavirus, and the exercises will be conducted in accordance with all necessary precautionary requirements to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. LINK
The large-scale military exercises are of particular significance given the ongoing expansion of US military installations in eastern Europe and the large number of US-led joint military exercises that have been held along the borders of both Russia and China this year, including frequent simulations of long-range attacks with strategic nuclear capable aircraft, warships and submarines.
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