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Friday 16 August 2019

Russia, Mongolia Kick off Selenga-2019 Joint Military Drills

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ULAN UDE (TASS) — The Russian-Mongolian joint military exercise Selenga-2019 has kicked off at the Munkh Khet firing range in Mongolia, the press office of Russia’s Eastern Military District reported on Friday.

Valeriy Matytsin / TASS)

“A special ceremony was held at the Munkh Khet practice range to open the joint Russian-Mongolian military drills Selenga-2019, which involve up to 1,000 personnel of the Eastern Military District’s motor rifle large unit stationed in the town of Kyakhta (Buryatia) and the same number of troops from Mongolia”, the press office said in a statement.

During the active phase of the drills, the participating troops will practice assignments to jointly eliminate notional illegal armed formations and defend a community in a border area.

Russia’s Eastern Military District earlier reported that the Russian troops would involve about 300 weapon systems in the drills: 152mm Akatsiya howitzers, Grad multiple launch rocket systems, Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, T-72B3 tanks, BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, Mi-24 and Mi-8AMTSh helicopters from the District’s army aviation airfield located in the Trans-Baikal Region.

The Russian-Mongolian exercise Selenga runs on August 15-24 this year. The drills have been held annually since 2008. Before 2011, the military tactical drills with the live-fire exercise were dubbed Darkhan, which stands for ‘Builder’ in Mongolian. In 2011, the maneuvers were dubbed Selenga, which is the name of the river that originates on the territory of Mongolia, flows through the Republic of Buryatia in East Siberia and gets into Lake Baikal. Since then, the drills have focused on anti-terror activities.

In 2018, the manoeuvres took place at the Burduny practice range in Buryatia and involved over 1,000 troops and up to 200 weapon systems from both sides.

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