Russia is to hold large scale military exercises close to the Caucasus region coinciding with the anniversary of the 2008 Georgia-Russia War
Over 100 aircraft and helicopters will take part in large-scale military drills in the south of Russia from 6 - 16 August, the press service of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces told reporters on Wednesday.
"Over 100 aircraft and helicopters from the 4th army of the Air Force and Missile Defense Forces of the Southern Military District will be involved in the scheduled bilateral exercise," the press service said.
Air operations will be performed from Crimea to the Caspian Sea, from Abkhazia to the Astrakhan region. During the first stage of drills, Russian aviation will repel 'enemy' attacks in the Rostov and Krasnodar regions and Crimea, and then relocate to operational aerodromes in Astrakhan, Stavropol and North Ossetia.
During the second stage of the military exercise, Russian aircraft will attack an 'enemy' in Crimea, Kuban region, Stavropol, Astrakhan region, and over the Black and Caspian Seas.
Russia's aviation will also repel an attack by cruise missiles together with six military ships from the Russian Black Sea Fleet, according to the scenario of the military exercises.
The timing of the exercises, coinciding with the 11th anniversary of the Georgia-Russia war in 2008, and the involvement of Russian military elements based in Crimea and Abkhazia. where the Russian presence is deemed illegal, makes these military drills controversial and offensive, particularly to Ukraine and Georgia.
photo: A Sukhoi Su-24 of the Russian Air Force (archive picture)