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14 Sep, 2007 02:52

Indian and Russian paratroopers take part in joint-exercises

Large-scale joint anti-terrorism exercises are taking place in Russia's north-western city of Pskov. More than 160 Indian soldiers are partaking in the nine-day marathon of combined manoeuvres with Russian paratroopers.

During joint exercises with Russian troops in Pskov, the Indian servicemen had to find a way of carrying out what could be the hardest task for a paratrooper – swimming in a muddy pool with a Kalashnikov. The  weight of the AK-47s was dragging the Indian troops to the bottom,  but the resilient guests from India confessed they'd relished battling the water.

“It is very refreshing. We enjoy it. We could do it again.”said Zidi Singh, an Indian paratrooper.

However combating terrorism is a very serious task. Together with Russian troops, they practised exercises such as parachute jumps, cross-country runs and even storming a building said to be held  by terrorists.

The joint Indo-Russian exercises have only just begun and more manoeuvres are ahead. But the Indian troops have already received an honour – the badge of the Russian airborne forces.