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    Russian, Belarusian Paratroopers Begin Drills in Belarus

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    According to Belarusian Defense Ministry, Russian and Belarusian paratroopers start Monday drills in Belarus aimed at practicing interoperability in joint tactical operations.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Belarusian and Russian paratroopers start Monday drills in Belarus aimed at practicing interoperability in joint tactical operations, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said.

    "The exercises will be held with support of combat aviation, and involve paradrops and landings from Mi-8 transport helicopters," the ministry said in a statement.

    The drills will continue until April 16, according to the document.

    On April 8, the ministry said the Belarusian military was holding joint exercises in operational and strategic command with Russian troops from the Western Military District.

    According to October 2014 announcement by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russia and Belarus are expected to hold several joint exercises in 2015 in case new threats against the two countries emerge.

    According to Shoigu, the Russian and Belarusian military will reinforce defenses on their borders with a series of "practical actions and events."

    Joint military exercise called Shield of the Union is scheduled to be held in September 2015.

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    paratroopers, Belarusian Defense Ministry, Russia, Belarus
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