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Post-Soviet security bloc opens military drills in Kyrgyzstan

July 29, 2014, 12:35 UTC+3 BISHKEK
The active phase of the exercise had been scheduled for August 1
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CSTO military drills at the Ala-Too firing range in 2013

CSTO military drills at the Ala-Too firing range in 2013

© EPA/ITAR-TASS/ IGOR KOVALENKO

BISHKEK, July 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Russian-led security alliance of former-Soviet republics, launched on Tuesday joint military drills on a firing range in Kyrgyzstan, the organization’s secretary general said.

“Considering the present-day realities, when various terrorist organizations carry out destructive activities, it is highly important to develop interaction between military mechanisms of the CSTO members,” CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha said addressing the opening ceremony of the drills.

The CSTO, which is comprised of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, regularly holds military drills on the territories of its member states and the current exercise, codenamed Enduring Brotherhood-2014, is held at Kyrgyzstan’s Ala-Too firing range near the capital of Bishkek.

Asanbek Alymkozhoyev, the chief of the Kyrgyz General Staff, said addressing the opening ceremony that “particular attention in the course of the current drills would be paid to peace maintenance in the Central Asia by means of collective peacekeeping units from the CSTO.”

The high-ranking Kyrgyz military official added that the active phase of the exercise had been scheduled for August 1, which is also the closing day of the antiterrorism drills.

Belarus and Tajikistan are represented at the exercise by operative groups and peacekeeping platoons, while Russia has put up commanding post staff and 60-men-strong task force. Kazakhstan sent to the drills an operative group, a battalion, an air assault company, an engineer platoon, a medical platoon and combat aviation. Armenia is represented by an operative group and an infantry platoon and hosts Kyrgyzstan provided for the drills a mountain infantry battalion and combat aviation.

Last year the post-Soviet security organization held a total of six large-scale military exercises. The largest of them, codenamed Zapad -2013 (West-2013) was held last September in Belarus. Zapad military drills are held biannually since 2009 and last year’s six-day exercise involved up to 13,000 military servicemen from Russia and Belarus, some 350 armored combat vehicles, including 40 tanks, over 50 aircraft as well as warships from the Russian Baltic Fleet.

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