Over 3,500 Russian Soldiers Hold Mountain Drills in South Ossetia
12:01 24.04.2015(updated 13:10 24.04.2015)
Motorized rifle, tank, artillery, and reconnaissance units practiced completing combat tasks in mountainous conditions.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – More than 3,500 Russian military personnel held exercises in the mountainous terrain of the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia, the Russian Defense Ministry's Southern Military District's press service said Friday.
"Controlled tactical and tactical-specialized training was held at a Russian base in mountainous terrain with motorized rifle, tank, artillery, and reconnaissance units, whose main goal was a spot check on the units' capability to successfully complete combat tasks in the difficult conditions of a mountainous area," the press service said.
More than 3,500 servicemen and approximately 800 pieces of hardware and equipment were involved in the training exercises.
Earlier this month, head of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov said that Russia was expanding the potential of its military bases in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, as well as in Armenia and Central Asia to help maintain stability in the respective regions.
In March, over 2,000 Russian air defense personnel staged large-scale exercises in the south of the country, as well as at Russian military bases in South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Armenia.
South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in 1991, while Abkhazia followed suit the following year. Both republics were recognized by Russia in August 2008 following an armed conflict in the region.
In October 2008, Tbilisi adopted a law declaring South Ossetia and Abkhazia to be occupied territories of Georgia.
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