Trilateral Military Drills to Kick Start in Central Asia
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Trilateral Military Drills to Kick Start in Central Asia

By IndraStra Global News Team

Trilateral Military Drills to Kick Start in Central Asia

As per the latest media reports, Russia has redeployed Mi-8 military transport helicopters and Mi-24 assault gunships from the Novosibirsk Region in Western Siberia to the Gissar airfield in Tajikistan for trilateral drills at the Kharb-Maidon training ground 20 km from the Afghan border. The joint drills of Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan will run at the Kharb-Maidon training ground on August 5-10.

"The four combat helicopters have been airlifted from Russia by an An-124-100 Ruslan heavy transport plane. During the main phase of the joint exercise, the army aviation crews will land a tactical assault force and provide air support for the advancing troops in the course of eliminating an outlawed armed gang," the press office of Russia’s Central Military District said in a statement.

The helicopters were partially disassembled before their transportation. Upon the gunships’ arrival at the destination airfield, the ground personnel assembled the helicopters while the pilots made test flights, the statement says.

Security has rapidly deteriorated in Afghanistan as the United States withdraws troops. Moscow fears that could destabilize its southern defensive flank and push refugees into its Central Asian backyard.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said at a conference of the defense ministers from the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe that the three countries would practice eliminating outlawed armed gangs, conducting reconnaissance, and protecting facilities during the drills.

Overall, the drills will involve 2,500 troops, including 1,800 personnel from Russia, and also 420 units of military hardware will be used; double the quantity originally planned. The Russian military contingent in the drills will mostly comprise units of Russia’s 201st military base in Tajikistan.

Early last month, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov issued a warning to the U.S. against entering former Soviet Union nations in Central Asia once the Biden administration has completed its full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. 

“We told the Americans directly and straightforwardly that it would change a lot of things not only in our perceptions of what’s going on in that important region but also our relations with the United States,” Ryabkov added in the interview. 

With reporting by Reuters and TASS

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