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Over 8,000 troops go on high alert in large-scale drills in south Russia

Combat crews of Iskander missile systems join large-scale drills in south Russia

ROSTOV-ON-DON, August 26. /TASS/. Large-scale command and staff drills have kicked off in south Russia involving over 8,000 troops, the press office of the Southern Military District reported on Monday.

"The combat training measures involve large units and military formations of three integrated combined arms forces, the Air Force and Air Defense Army, the forces of the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla of the Southern Military District," the press office said in a statement.

The troops will practice employing multi-service force groupings for the purposes of ensuring military security on Russia’s southern borders. The drills will run on August 26-31 at 12 all-arms, naval and aviation training ranges in the Rostov, Volgograd, Astrakhan, Stavropol and Krasnodar Regions and in the Republic of Crimea, the statement reads.

"Up to 8,200 troops will practice tactical episodes of force-on-force command and staff drills employing more than 2,500 items of military hardware, including over 100 tanks, about 30 aircraft and 60 helicopters, up to 10 warships and vessels of the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla," the Southern Military District specified.

A command post and the combat crews of Iskander-M tactical systems went on high alert in the exercises. 

"During their deployment, the servicemen practiced repelling attacks of a notional enemy’s subversive groups and overcoming sections of contaminated terrain. The command of the missile formation will be making decisions at the designated positioning area on delivering a massive missile strike against the notional enemy’s command posts and other strategically important installations," the press office said in a statement.

The Iskander-M squads will practice electronic missile launches and the procedures within the required time limits for loading launchers, the statement reads.

The missile troops’ exercise involves over 300 personnel and about 50 items of armament and military and special hardware of the Southern Military District’s missile formation. The maneuvers are running under the single scenario of the command and staff drills of the District’s forces under the direction of Southern Military District Commander Colonel-General Alexander Dvornikov.