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Russia’s top brass kicks off drills in Caspian Sea

The exercise involves six Russian warships, seven aircraft and over 400 troops, according to the Defense Ministry

MAKHACHKALA, October 16. /TASS/. Naval drills involving six Russian warships, seven aircraft and over 400 troops kicked off in the Caspian Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Friday.

"The exercise will run in the central part of the Caspian Sea north of the Absheron Peninsula. Overall, the naval maneuvers will involve six warships, seven planes and over 400 troops," the ministry said.

The naval maneuvers will involve four warships carrying Kalibr cruise missiles: the missile ships Dagestan and Tatarstan and the missile corvettes Uglich and Veliky Ustyug. They will perform qualification artillery and missile firings at sea against air and naval targets while operating as part of a task force jointly with aircraft of Russia’s Southern Military District.

The main goal of the drills is to deploy forces for providing a favorable operational regime, protecting and defending maritime economic activity facilities and also eliminating notional illegal armed formations, the statement says.

As Russia’s Defense Ministry stressed, the exercise running as part of a combat readiness check "poses no threat and does not restrict the economic activity of the Caspian littoral states."