IN PICS: Pakistan, Russia begin DRUZBHA-V military exercise at Tarbela

10:41 PM | 8 Nov, 2020
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RAWALPINDI – Russian troops are in Pakistan for the two weeks long joint military exercise codenamed Druzhba (Friend­ship) 5.

The exercise is aimed at sharing both armies’ experiences in counterterrorism domain, according to the Pakistani military’s media wing. Sky diving and hostage rescue operations will be highlights of the exercise, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

Russian defence ministry, meanwhile, says the exercise is aimed to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries, and being held under the framework of international military cooperation.

The two-week-long drills formally commenced on Sunday (Nov 8) in Tarbela.

Some 70 Russian troops and officers are participating in the exercise that would continue till Nov 21. Almost an equal number of soldiers are participating from Pakistan side. 

“During the exercise, the military personnel of the two countries will exchange experience and work out interaction in performing tasks within the framework of training combat operations, in particular, to destroy illegal armed formations,” the Russian defence ministry said.

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All Russian military personnel were tested for Covid-19 before leaving for the exercise, the ministry added.

The first-ever joint exercise between Pakistan and the Russian military took place in 2016.

Similarly, in September, a Pakistan armed forces' contingent participated in the opening ceremony of a multinational military exercise, named Kavkaz-2020, held at the Astrakhan region in Russia.

The exercise Kavkaz which lasted from September 21 to 26 aimed at assessing the ability of troops to react to various challenges and learn from each other’s experiences, DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar said at the time.