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Russia's Defense Ministry unveils scenario of Tsentr-2019 drills

The exercise will be held in two phases

MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. The Russian army with a coalition of friendly countries participating in the strategic command-and-staff exercise Tsentr-2019 will neutralize an abstract country responsible for spawning terrorism and unleashing war, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Colonel-General Alexander Fomin told a news briefing for foreign military attaches on Thursday.

According to the scenario, the influence of Islamic extremism on countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and eventually Central Asia is growing.

"A hypothetical state emerges in the southwest of Russia. Its leadership shares the extremist ideas of leaders of international terrorist organizations," he said. From the imaginary country radical Islamism begins to spread into the territories of neighboring countries.

"The imaginary country having an advanced army makes attempts to exert pressure, including military pressure, on Russia. The escalation of tensions eventually evolves into an armed conflict," Fomin said.

Theme and phases of the exercise

Fomin said the focus of the exercise would be on ways of using the coalition’s military group for struggle against international terrorism and measures to maintain military security in Central Asia. Military contingents from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, China and Pakistan have been invited to participate.

The exercise will be held in two phases. The first one lasting three days will be devoted to polishing the command and control of troops, measures to repel air strikes, and reconnaissance and defensive operations. In the second two-day phase a multinational group of troops will carry out a massive fire strike against the hypothetical enemy.

The number of troops

The main phase of the strategic command-and-staff exercise will involve nearly 13,000 troops, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Colonel-General Alexander Fomin told the news briefing for foreign military attaches.

"At the Totsky and Adanak proving grounds in the European part of Russia within the zone of the Vienna Document of 2011 on confidence and security building measures, and also at the Donguz proving ground up to 12,950 men will be involved (10,700 Russian servicemen and up to 2,250 foreign ones), Fomin said.

Up to 250 tanks, 450 armored personnel carriers and up to 200 artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers will be deployed in the main episode of the exercise.


The main events of the Tsentr-2019 exercise will take place on September 16-21 at eight proving grounds in Russia (Totsky and Donguz in the Orenburg Region, Adanak in Dagestan, Ashuluk near Astrakhan, Chebarkul in the Chelyabinsk Region, Safakulevo near Kurgan, Aleisk and Yurga proving grounds in the Altai Region and the Kemerovo regions respectively and on the Caspian Sea), as well as foreign proving grounds in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and the territory of Russia’s 201st military base in Tajikistan.

Involved in the Tsentr-2019 exercise will be 128,000 troops, 20,000 pieces of military equipment, 600 aircraft and 15 ships.