icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Thousands of Russian, Uzbek & Tajik troops rehearse turning back enemy offensive on Afghan border amid fears of Taliban incursions

Large-scale wargames have been held in Tajikistan, bringing together soldiers from three former Soviet republics to practice targeting enemy combatants and securing the border with neighboring Afghanistan, as the US withdraws.

On Tuesday, the commander of Russia’s Central Military District, which helped to organize the drills, told TASS that the battle simulations were an important part of “protecting our countries from military aggression” in an increasingly unstable part of the world.

“We are completing joint exercises of the armed forces of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation,” he said, adding that “for the first time, the use of multiple service branches with massive aviation, reconnaissance and artillery support is being conducted, based on the experience we have gained from the conflict in Syria.”

According to army chiefs, Russian military engineers and fire teams rehearsed halting an enemy advance by detonating a grid of high-explosive shells, fire bombs and anti-tank mines designed to create a “fiery shaft” and drive back any would-be intruders. “The artificial fires prevent the effective use of technology, communications and control, and demoralize adversaries’ personnel,” officials said in a statement. More than 1,800 Russian troops took part in the exercises.

Tajikistan’s defense minister, Colonel-General Sherali Mirzo, added that Central Asia was becoming a focal point for potential military escalations. “Over the past few years, tension has shifted from the Middle East to Afghanistan,” he said. “An analysis of the last few years shows that the situation in our region will be tied to the development of events and the political situation in that country.”

Also on rt.com Tanks, choppers and drones aid Russian & Indian troops perfecting their skills at Indra-2021 joint anti-terrorist drills (VIDEO)

There have been concerns that a burgeoning conflict in Afghanistan could destabilize the wider region. US President Joe Biden has announced that all American forces will leave the troubled nation by the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks next month. In the wake of that announcement, and with Washington winding down its operations, the Taliban – which is listed as a prohibited terrorist organization in Russia – has taken control of vast swathes of territory.

READ MORE: WATCH: Russian bombers & Spetsnaz train in Afghan border drills with Uzbekistan & Tajikistan, as Taliban advances (VIDEOS)

Contingents of Afghan troops have crossed the border to take shelter in Tajikistan, fleeing fierce fighting with the Islamist militant group. Russia has insisted that it will support its partner in securing the frontier and has stepped up its military presence in the nation, including deploying 17 modernized BMP-2M infantry fighting vehicles to help contain any potential spill-over of fighting.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.