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SCO leaders attend military exercise

Leaders from China and Central Asian countries are visiting the “Peace Mission 2007” military exercises in Russia's Urals region. The maneuvers between members of the SCO started more than a week ago and unite the six member countries for the

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is also attending the exercises.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) joint force is carrying-out anti-terrorism strategies so as to improve security in Central Asia and respond to threats.

Photo from the Russian Federation Ministry   
             of Defence website.
Photo from the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence website.

More than 6,000 servicemen from member-states are involved in the war games. The largest detachments were assigned by Russia and China, smaller detachments – from several Central Asian states including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The final part of the maneuvers was marked with a liberation of a small town that was taken by a group of militants. The aim is to free the town with the lowest number of casualties possible. Both on the land and from the air the Russian and Chinese military approach the town.

The maneuvers are only practice for possible real anti-terror operations in the future.

It is the first time the exercises are being held by the six members of the SCO simultaneously. The interchange of experience will be very useful for further co-operation,

Russian Maj. General Oleg Kolyada.

Speaking in Bishkek, Vladimir Putin has offered the SCO member-states to hold regular joint military maneuvers in the future.

Meantime, Dmitry Oreshkin, a Russian political analyst, says these large-scale military exercises are more than just terrorism prevention measures.

“The military exercises in Chelyabinsk are called anti-terrorist but it really is more serious than that. Because several hundred pieces of military equipment are involved as well as different kinds of troops. It’s quite obvious that it’s not the way you fight with terrorists – Special Security Services deal with them. Even though the main enemies here are abstract terrorists, what we see is a military interaction between two major powers in the region,” he says.