17:46 GMT15 July 2020
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    Russian Tu-22M3 supersonic bombers are on their way to the Ayni airbase in Tajikistan to join bilateral military exercises, an aide to the commander of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Central Military District said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The planes departed from Russia's Novosibirsk region to an airbase in Tajikistan which is located 30 kilometers from the capital Dushanbe, according to Yaroslav Roshchupkin.

    "[Bomber] crews will practice airstrikes using 500-kg [1,100-lb] bombs against camps of illegal armed groups at military [training] grounds in the foothills of Eastern Pamir [Tajikistan]," he added.

    Earlier on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the country would reinforce its air group with Su-25SM Frogfoot close air support jets during the military exercises in Tajikistan, which started on Wednesday.

    In February, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Russia would use the full potential of its military stationed in Tajikistan to defend that country's national sovereignty.

    The Tajik leadership is concerned about the worsening security situation in neighboring Afghanistan, where the Afghan armed forces are fighting Taliban militants as well as the Daesh terrorist group, banned in Russia and several other countries, which is actively trying to spread its influence in the region.


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    military drills, Tu-22M3, Russian Defense Ministry, Russian Aerospace Forces, Anatoly Antonov, Tajikistan, Russia
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