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Indian troops to fight side-by-side with Russian tanks & soldiers as part of massive war-games simulating anti-terrorism operation

A contingent of Indian troops has arrived in Russia ahead of military drills that will see soldiers from both nations train to fight a range of threats, including those posed by terrorist attacks, using cutting-edge hardware.

In a statement issued by Moscow's Ministry of Defense on Monday, defense chiefs announced that "India's military units will take part in the Zapad-2021 joint strategic exercise."

According to officials, "upon arrival, military personnel from India were given Russian equipment, including T-72 B3 tanks and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, which they will use to participate in the main stage of the exercise."

At least 200 of New Delhi's forces are taking part in the two-week-long drills, held on Russian soil. According to defense sources, a total of nine countries are involved in the exercises, with eight observers, including China and Pakistan. "The exercise aims to enhance military and strategic ties amongst the participating nations while they plan and execute their drills,” the organizers say.

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The focus of the exercises is understood to be on combatting terrorist operations, and a large number of Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are sending soldiers to share skills and rehearse missions. Moscow has warned in recent weeks that instability in Afghanistan since the US troop withdrawal last month could spill over into neighboring nations, and has stepped up training with partners in the region as a result.

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