22 July 2012, 14:14

Russia, Ukraine, Belarus hold Slavic Commonwealth-2012 drills

Russia, Ukraine, Belarus hold Slavic Commonwealth-2012 drills

The Slavic Commonwealth-2012 exercises between Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have started on Sunday to let the three countries' armies improve their peacekeeping skills.

The troops gathered at the Shiroky Lan training ground off Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. Russia’s airborne unit of the Southern military district is taking part in the drills. The three countries' airmobile brigades are taking a special part in the drills. Russian and Ukrainian forces will also share their knowledge with the colleagues from Belarus. Featuring a great variety of tasks, the Slavic Commonwealth-2012 exercises will last for 5 days. Spokesman for the Russian land forces, Nikolai Dulyushkin, comments:

"The aim of the exercises is to practice joint efforts in surrounding and blocking illegal armed formations at a given spot, ensuring border checkpoint service in an area of responsibility, escorting humanitarian convoys and providing landmine safety. A joint airborne assault force will be dropped from an IL-76 military transport plane as part of the exercises."

These are the second Slavic Commonwealth war games. During last year’s drills, only servicemen but no hardware from Russia and Belarus took part. This time, each side brought its own hardware. Russia sent 20 Tigr armored vehicles. Prospects are being considered for holding the Slavic Commonwealth exercises on an annual basis and expanding their geography.

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