ROSTOV-ON-DON, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Large-scale
military drills start on Monday in 10 southern subjects of the
Russian Federation, a spokesman for the North Caucasus military
The exercises, dubbed Caucasus-2009, 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, the Air
Force and the Airborne Troops.
"During the exercise, the troops will practice a wide
range of military measures aimed at ensuring security for
Russian citizens, main transport and energy routes,
strategically important infrastructure, and protecting Russia's
economic interests in the southwest region," Andrei Bobrun said.
According to the Defense Ministry, a total of 8,500
troops, about 200 tanks, 450 armored vehicles, and up to 250
artillery pieces will take part in the exercises.
The exercise is led by Army Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of
the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The drills will
end on June 6.