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Russia Holding Military Drills in Central Asia

Russian airborne forces training with Kyrgyz National Guard in the Kyrgyz mountains

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BISHKEK, May 25 (TASS) - Kyrgyzstan begins on Monday joint military exercises with Russia that involve 250 Russian paratroopers and servicemen of Kyrgyzstan’s National Guard.

Six aircraft were used to transfer the units of Russia’s Airborne Forces.

"The exercises will last until June 5 and part of them will be held on territory of the fifth brigade of Kyrgyzstan’s National Guard, while the other on the Russian air base in Kant [Chuy region in Kyrgyzstan]," an official at the air base in Kant said.

The drills will see the landing operation of the Russian paratroopers and Kyrgyzstan’s National Guard and skill training in the mountainous areas, the official said.

The military chiefs of the two states reached an agreement on holding the exercises a month ago.

The Russian air base in Kant was opened in 2003 and serves as an air component of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

The air base is located some 20 kilometers from the capital Bishkek. Su-25 attack aircraft, Il-76 transport aircraft and helicopters of the 5th Urals Army of the Air Force and Air Defence are based there.

The latest major exercises with the participation of the Russian paratroopers were held in September 2014. The Vostok command and staff maneuvers involved more than 155,000 soldiers from the forces of the Central and Eastern districts, Airborne Forces, Air Defence, Long-Range Aviation and Military and Transport aviation.

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