KALININGRAD, September 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Navy landing craft will join the final stage of a Russian-Belarusian defense exercise, code-named Zapad 2009 (West 2009), a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Monday.
He said eight amphibious warfare ships from the Baltic, Black Sea and Northern Fleets would land naval infantry units in an area near the Khmelevka base to rehearse a coastal defense operation.
The landing operation will be supported by Baltic Fleet warships and aircraft. The exercise will be observed by Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, among other top brass.
The first five-day phase of the exercises began on Friday with some 100 aircraft and 12,600 military personnel and concentrated on the preparation of defense operations for the regional forces.
The second phase, running from September 23 through 29, focuses on the effectiveness of the unified regional anti-aircraft defense systems of Russia and Belarus.
In addition to Russian and Belarusian personnel, around 30 Kazakh military personnel are also participating in the exercises.