KAPUSTIN YAR PROVING GROUND /Astrakhan Region/, September 25. /TASS/. The United States and other NATO countries have been conducting their military activities some 20-30 kilometers off the Russian border of late, Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said on Friday.
"The United States and NATO are expanding their military activities not in the Atlantic or Caribbean regions, but at a distance of some 20-30 kilometers off the Russian borders. So, NATO’s allegations about Russia’s growing aggressiveness are false," he told a briefing after the completion of the Kavkaz-2020 military drills.
As an example of NATO’s increased activities near the Russian borders, he cited NATO aircraft flights and the presence of its naval forces in the Barents, Baltic and Black Seas.
The Kavkaz-2020 drills, running from September 21-26, led by Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov, are underway in Russia’s Southern Military District and in the Black and Caspian Seas. The exercise involves about 80,000 personnel, including officers from the Russian Emergencies Ministry and the Russian National Guard. Furthermore, this is a multinational endeavor which includes up to 1,000 servicemen from Armenia, Belarus, China, Myanmar and Pakistan. Representatives from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Sri Lanka are participating as observers, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. In addition, Russia’s top brass said that roughly 250 tanks, up to 450 mechanized infantry fighting vehicles and APCs, as well as up to 200 artillery systems and multiple-launch rocket systems were set to be used in the exercise on firing grounds. About 12,900 troops are going to take part in activities in line with the 2011 Vienna Document of the Negotiations on Confidence-and Security-Building Measures.