NIZHNY NOVGOROD, June 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russian army
brigades based in South Ossetia and Abkhazia will take part in
a large-scale strategic exercise in the Caucasus next month,
the Ground Forces commander said on Thursday.
Army Gen. Vladimir Boldyrev said the Caucasus-2009
exercise, due to take place in late June-early July, would
comprise a series of operational drills with North Caucasus
District troops, including South Ossetian and Abkhazian
brigades, as well as units of the Black Sea Fleet, the Caspian
Flotilla, and the Air Force command.
"The 4th and 7th Brigades in South Ossetia and Abkhazia
are on full combat readiness. They are defending civilians and
are ready to repulse any aggression," he said.
It was previously reported that a total of 8,500 troops,
about 200 tanks, 450 armored vehicles, and up to 250 artillery
systems would take part in the Caucasus-2009 exercise.
The exercise will be led by Army Gen. Nikolai Makarov,
chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.