Major military drills kick off in Russia, Central Asia

Tsentr-2019 (Center-2019) military exercises involving eight countries began on Monday in Russia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

A total of 128,000 troops, more than 20,000 units of weapons and military hardware, about 600 aircraft and up to 15 ships and support vessels will take part in the drills on several training grounds in the three countries and the Caspian Sea.

During the drills that will proceed until Saturday, the troops will practice maneuvers related to combating international terrorism and ensuring security in the Central Asian region.

In the first stage of the exercises, the participants will practice repelling air strikes, reconnaissance, and search and defensive operations.

In the second stage, commanders and personnel will practice delivering a fire strike and conducting offensive operations to defeat a simulated enemy.