Russian troops hold military exercises in South and North Caucasus
15 January 2016

Russian troops have been conducting military exercises in the breakaway province of South Ossetia this week, as well as in the North Caucasus.

More than 2,000 soldiers participated in the drill near Dzartsemi firing range, north of Tskhinvali, South Ossetia’s capital, government sources said on January 13.

Around 500 units of military hardware were used in the South Ossetian exercise, including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and howitzers.

South Ossetia received advanced military hardware from Russia throughout 2015, the Russian Defence Ministry said last month, including Iskander-M ballistic missiles, which have a range of 500 kilometres.

Russian forces are also holding Iskander-M firing exercises in Kaputsin Yar in the Russian Federation, around 1000 kilometres north of Tbilisi, the defence ministry said on January 15.

South Ossetia has been outside the jurisdiction of Georgian central government since 1992.

However following a short but deadly war in August 2008, Russian troops have been stationed in South Ossetia as well as the larger and more populous region of Abkhazia.