With “Caucasus 2020”, Russia starts an international military exercise in which soldiers from China and Pakistan also participate. The biggest maneuver of the year should also signal NATO.

Russia has deployed its army in the Caucasus for the biggest military exercise this year. Up to 12,900 soldiers from countries including China, Pakistan, Belarus, Armenia and Myanmar will participate in the international exercise, which will run until Saturday.

About 80,000 people participate in the “Caucasus 2020” maneuver led by the Russian General Staff. “The exercise is not aggressive in nature,” said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov before the official start on Monday at Kapustin Yar’s training area in the Astrakhan region on the Volga.

Response to NATO

From the point of view of defense politicians in Moscow, the maneuver is not least in response to similar NATO exercises in the Russian neighborhood. The exercise strengthens cooperation between the participating states and improves joint action by soldiers, he said.

The Russian navy is also involved. In total, the event extends to 14 positions, including some in the Black and Caspian Sea.

250 tanks involved

One of the aims is to simulate military operations in the resolution of armed conflicts related to counter-terrorism. Among the many involved are technical personnel and civil defense personnel.

About 250 tanks and more than 600 other combat technology units, including artillery systems, were to be deployed. Russia had temporarily held back from military maneuvers because of the corona pandemic and asked NATO to reduce its exercises as well.

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