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Over 2,000 troops to take part in CIS air defense drills

The drills will take place in south Russia on September 4-8

MOSCOW, August 29. /TASS/. Over 2,000 troops from six member states of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will take part in air defense drills, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

The drills of the CIS united air defense system dubbed Combat Commonwealth-2017 will be held at the Ashuluk training range in the Astrakhan Region in south Russia on September 4-8.

"Apart from Russia, the Combat Commonwealth-2017 joint drills will involve air defense units from the armed forces of five CIS members: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. The other participants in the CIS united air defense system will take part in the drills as observers," the ministry said.

An Air Force and Air Defense Army of Russia’s Southern Military District has been placed on high alert as part of preparations for the drills. Aviation formations are preparing for re-deployment to the Ashuluk training range. Air defense missile units and radio-electronic troops will be moved to the practice range by air and railway transport.

"Overall, the joint drills of the armed forces from the countries participating in the CIS joint air defense system will involve more than 2,000 servicemen and over 200 pieces of combat and special hardware, including S-400 Triumf and S-300 Favorit antiaircraft missile systems, Pantsyr-S complexes and also Tu-22M3 strategic bombers," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The maneuvers over Ashuluk will also involve Mikoyan MiG-29, Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 fighter jets, Su-24 bombers, Su-25 ground-attack aircraft, Su-34 multirole planes, MiG-31 interceptors and Mil Mi-8AMTSh helicopters.