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YEKATERINBURG, February 19. /TASS/. Special forces sniper units of Russia's Central Military District have begun exercises in the snows of Western Siberia - awaiting mountain taiga training later in the year instructed by descendants of religious-dissenter Old Believers who made homes long ago alone in the dense forest region.
Two hundred marksmen are now under orders, training in stealth and camouflage, honing skills in modern reconnaissance and surveillance equipment, meteorology, navigation systems and secure communications, the command's press service said.
Motorized maneuvres are assembling troops from Russia's Altai territory and Novosibirsk and Kemerovo regions in exercises designed to develop expertise in hiding from the enemy and identifying targets for the sights of SVD, VSS and Vintorez rifles.
Improving weather in May will take district forces to the Far East's Krasnoyarsk region for survival training in the taiga. The course will be run by two Old Believe families, still living deep among the trees, according to the district commader, Colonel General Vladimir Zarudnitsky.
"We have attracted Old Believers living in the Siberian taiga as instructors to better teach the troops survival skills," he said. "This will be a novelty in special forces’ training, tentatively set for May."