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Russia, Belarus, Serbia switch to active phase of Slavic Brotherhood international drills

June 26, 12:37 UTC+3 NOVOROSSIYSK

For the first time ever, Russia will involve its latest military hardware in the drills

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© Viktor Drachev/TASS

NOVOROSSIYSK, June 26. /TASS/. The Russian-Belarussian-Serbian tactical drills dubbed Slavic Brotherhood-2018 underway in Russia’s southern Krasnodar Region were officially opened by the defense ministries of the three countries, after which the military exercises entered their active phase on Tuesday.

The joint tactical drills Slavic Brotherhood-2018 are running at the Rayevsky range in Novorossiysk on June 18-28. As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported earlier, the paratroopers from the three countries are practicing special measures to set up and employ a coalition tactical group to accomplish peace-keeping and counter-terror missions.

An official ceremony was held on Tuesday to open the drills. During the ceremony, the flags of the three countries were hoisted. The ceremony was attended by the drill’s head, Deputy Commander of Russia’s Airborne Force for Peacekeeping Operations and the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) Rapid Reaction Force Lieutenant-General Alexander Vyaznikov, Commander of the Belarusian Army Special Operations Forces Major-General Vadim Denisenko and Chief of Staff of the Serbian Army’s Special Brigade Sinisa Stasevic.

A military delegation from Serbia led by Serbian Army Deputy Commander Zelimir Glisovic is expected to arrive as the drills’ observers on the invitation of the Russian side.

"During the active phase, the coalition’s tactical group will be accomplishing the tasks of searching for and eliminating illegal armed formations and rendering humanitarian assistance to civilians in the conflict area," Vyaznikov said.

After the drill’s official opening, the troops involved in the military exercises started accomplishing assigned missions.

As was reported earlier, during the drills, Russia will be represented by the reinforced battalion of the Kuban Cossack air assault regiment of the Airborne Force (700 paratroopers). Belarus has involved over 250 servicemen of the Special Operations Forces while Serbia’s Special Brigade is represented by about 50 paratroopers.

Also, Russia’s forces in the drills will involve units of frontline and army aviation of the Air Force and Air Defense troops of the Southern Military District and Il-76MD military and transport planes of Russia’s Aerospace Force.

For the first time ever, Russia will involve the latest military hardware in the drills: BMD-4M airborne assault vehicles, Rakushka air-droppable armored personnel carriers, Rys armored vehicles, T-72B tanks and Infauna electronic warfare vehicles operational in Russia’s Airborne Force, and also Aistyonok radar stations.

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