Russia launched a major military drill on Monday, involving almost 80,000 servicemen. Kavkaz-2020 (Caucasus-2020) is the final stage of annual combat training this year, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
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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.
Earlier, a EurAsian Times reported, India had decided to pull-out from multilateral war drills in Russia. In an official statement, New Delhi cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason however, local media reports stated that China and Pakistan’s participation in the exercise was a major factor behind the withdrawal.
According to defense experts talking to the EurAsian Times who did not wish to be named, said that Russia is India’s strongest and most dependable ally for decades and three of India’s foes – China, Pakistan, and Turkey are expected to participate in the military drills.
By pulling out, India has conveyed to Russia its disinterest to associate with regional foes while at the same time, New Delhi has given strategic space to them, especially to Pakistan who is desperate to befriend Moscow which opinion-makers in New Delhi should have blocked.
AA & Syed Shafiq