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First-ever Military Transport Aviation drills with 5,500 paratroopers kick off in Russia

October 25, 18:23 UTC+3 ULYANOVSK

MiG-31 interceptors carried out air patrol and advanced Su-35 fighters protected the Il-76 planes during the air landing

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© Yury Smitiuk/TASS

ULYANOVSK, October 25. /TASS/. More than 2,500 paratroopers landed in the Ulyanovsk Region on Wednesday. The landing operation was part of extensive drills for the Military Transport Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces, said acting deputy commander for airborne training Colonel Mikhail Osipenko.

"Tactical flight training for the military transport aviation is divided into three stages. The main stages are establishing practical actions to ‘seize’ the Ulyanovsk (Vostochny) airfield blocked by ‘terrorist forces’," he said. Osipenko noted that 2,500 paratroopers landed near Ulyanovsk successfully within the shortest period possible.

A total of 58 aircraft of various profiles will be involved in the maneuvers, and more than 5,500 Russian servicemen will land there.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that crews of Su-34 multirole fighters had ‘cleared’ the site from the ‘enemy’ ahead of the landing. MiG-31 interceptors carried out air patrol and advanced Su-35 fighters protected the Il-76 planes during the air landing.

"The landing to the site near Ulyanovsk was carried out from 20 Il-76 planes. Such wide-ranging drills for military transport aviation involving the airborne forces have never been conducted before," the Russian Defense Ministry noted.

The special troops of the Airborne Forces landed from eight An-2 planes to take control of the ‘enemy’ rear command post during the first phase of the exercise.

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