Russian army holds largest nocturnal war games

The largest nighttime military drills held in Russia since the collapse of the USSR have taken place near Moscow.

Combined with daytime exercises, they are part of government efforts to improve the skills of the army's command and of their troops, while reducing numbers.

Around 4,000 troops, 800 pieces of military equipment including 150 tanks and armored personnel carriers, planes and helicopters have gathered on a 55 square kilometer battleground. The aim of the game is to make Russia's ground forces more effective, General Vladimir Boldyrev commented.

“I must tell you that, as of today the first stage of forming a new composition of ground forces is complete, as we have formed 46 maneuver brigades.”

Troops and military chiefs have taken part in the drills, which included more than 100 various demonstrations, classes and exams. Anti-terror operations were also practised, but the nighttime drill is among the most difficult to complete. Perhaps the most impressive as well.

“Yes, all the night-vision devices available to the brigade are being used here. A very complex target environment has been created, with moving and emerging targets. There are more than a thousand targets on the shooting range, that all of the brigade members, without exception, are supposed to hit,” Colonel Igor Konoshenkov explained.

The next large-scale military exercises are planned for the autumn with Belarus.