The 2021 edition of the INDRA joint Indian-Russian exercise will be held in Russia’s Volgograd Region on August 1-13, the Defense Ministry’s Southern Military District said on Monday.
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“From August 1 to August 13 of this year, a joint Russian-Indian exercise INDRA-2021 will be held at the Prudboy training ground of the Southern Military District in the Volgograd Region. The events are planned to involve about 80 servicemen of the Southern Military District’s motorized rifle unit, and some 80 servicemen of the armed forces of India,” the military said.
During the drills, the two armies will be tasked to destroy a mock enemy in a specially-built settlement with three streets and 50 residential buildings, as well as several mobile targets.
This year’s exercise aims to prepare the military units of both countries for the joint fight against terrorism. INDRA-2020 was held in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
Earlier, Igor Kostyukov, the head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Directorate (GRU), had raised apprehensions and said the United States is actively making attempts to get India, in addition to Australia and Japan, involved in a military alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.
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“The US is urgently creating an anti-Chinese coalition based on the so-called four-way security dialogue. In addition to Australia and Japan, particular importance is attached to getting India involved, which traditionally shapes its foreign policy independently,” Kostyukov said at the ninth Moscow Conference on International Security.
Meanwhile, Russia will also hold drills with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in August in Tajikistan’s Khatlon region bordering Afghanistan, Commander of Russia’s Central Military District, Col. Gen. Alexander Lapin, said.
“In early August we will take part in a joint exercise with military contingents of the armed forces of the republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan at the Kharbmaydon range. During the exercises, we will train the preparations for conducting a joint military action aimed at eliminating illegal armed groups invading the territory of an allied state,” Lapin told journalists.
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The exercises will take place from August 5-10, the commander said.
According to a press office of the Central Military District, units of the Tajikistan-based 201st Military Base, including tank, artillery and special purpose squads, will be “the core” of the Russian contingent during the exercises.
The announcement comes amid a spike in violence in Afghanistan from the Taliban movement (designated terrorist and banned in Russia) as international troops are gradually being withdrawn from the country. The troop pullout was one of the points of an agreement the Taliban and the United States reached in Doha in February of last year.