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Russian military reaches Afghanistan's border ahead of major exercise in Central Asia

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The motorized rifle, artillery, tank and other units of the Russian military marched from their settlements of Dushanbe and Bokhtar, covering a total distance of more than 400 kilometers to reach ground zero in the Khatlon region of Tajikistan on Wednesday (Images courtesy: Ministry of Defence, Russia)

Units of the Russian military base in Tajikistan have arrived at the Harb-Maidon training ground, located in the south of the country, just 20 kilometers from the Tajik-Afghan border, where large-scale military exercises of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) will be held later this month.

The motorized rifle, artillery, tank and other units of the Russian military marched from their settlements of Dushanbe and Bokhtar, covering a total distance of more than 400 kilometers to reach ground zero in the Khatlon region of Tajikistan on Wednesday.

It is here that more than 400 military personnel of the armed forces of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan will take part in the first special training of forces and intelligence exercise 'Poisk-2021' (Search-2021) at the end of the month.  

The joint exercise is taking place against the background of the destabilization of the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Russia

The CSTO members had announced last month that Exercise Search-2021, Echelon-2021, Interaction-2021 and Cobalt-2021 will be held at the Afghan border according to a single plan - to jointly counter the security threats emanating from the territory of Afghanistan. Over 2700 servicemen and more than 500 units of equipment will be involved in these exercises.

The militaries of the countries will learn to interact with each other in repelling an attack by militant detachments that broke through the border, and demonstrate their readiness to jointly confront challenges and threats for the Central Asian region.

Also Read: Central Asia frontline unites to confront Taliban on the Tajik-Afghan border

The core of the Russian contingent in the exercise - about 200 people in total - will be made up of servicemen from the intelligence units of the Central Military District.

"During their march to the Harb-Maidon training ground, the Russian servicemen had worked out the issues of convoy combat protection, overcoming conditionally contaminated areas of the terrain, repelling an attack by sabotage and reconnaissance groups and strikes by 'enemy' aircraft," said the Russian defence ministry.  

Stationed in two cities of Tajikistan - Dushanbe and Bokhtar - the 201st military base of the Russian military, its largest facility located beyond its borders, has been conducting various exercises recently to be combat ready after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

As reported by India Narrative earlier, the mock exercise held at the Lyaur and Sambuli mountainous ranges last month included thwarting "the plans of the militants" after noticing a detachment of an "illegal armed formation" moving along a mountain serpentine towards the village.

In another exercise, a mock attack by an illegal armed group on the facilities of the 201st Russian military was repelled as terrorists tried to enter the territory of the unit through a checkpoint using firearms.

Also Read: Russia activates military base in Tajikistan as border tensions with Afghanistan rise