Russian Strategic Drills are Not Aimed Against Other Countries, Russia Said

MOSCOW, (BM) – Center-2019 (Tsentr-2019) strategic drills are not aimed against other countries, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated on Tuesday during the ministry’s conference call, learned, quoting TASS.

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“I would like to stress that Center-2019 is not aimed against other countries, and conditional states facilitating the spread of terrorism take on the role of the opposing side,” the minister said.

The Russian defense chief informed that “all interested parties and representatives of defense and diplomatic structures have been informed about the dates, the number of troops, arms and military equipment, as well as the idea of the drills.”

The heads of state of the participant countries will be able to attend the event, Sergei Shoigu added.

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Eight training ranges in Russia will host the main operations on September 16-21. Those are the ranges of Totsky and Donguz in the Orenburg Region, Adanak in Dagestan, Ashuluk near Astrakhan, the Chebarkul practice range in the Chelyabinsk Region, Safakulevo in the Kurgan Region, the Aleisky range in the Altai Region and Yurginsky range in the Kemerovo Region, the ministry said. Also for the first time ever certain episodes of the drills will be held “under separate plans” at proving grounds in other CSTO member-states.

The Center-2019 command and staff exercises will run in two stages. During the first stage, the troops will practice fighting terrorists, repelling air strikes, conducting reconnaissance and defensive operations. During the second stage, the troops will switch to an offensive to rout the notional enemy, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

Seven foreign states will take part in the Center-2019 exercises: China, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The military contingents from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member-states will practice measures to maintain military security in Central Asia.

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The exercise will be the main test of the Russian army’s combat readiness in 2019. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended last year’s exercise Vostok-2018.

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Source: TASS