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Russian troops arrive in Pakistan for joint military exercise

RAWALPINDI: A contingent of Russian Special Forces has arrived in Pakistan for a two-week joint military exercise codenamed ‘Bruzhba 5’.

“Russian Federation Special Forces’ contingent arrived in Pakistan for two weeks long joint exercise Druzhba 5. The exercise is aimed at sharing both armies’ experiences in counterterrorism domain,” the ISPR said in a statement.

The exercise is part of Pak-Russia military cooperation. The fourth edition of ‘Bruzhba’ was held in Russia in October last year. The defence relations between the two countries have been strengthened since the signing of defence cooperation pact in 2014.

The Russian defence ministry said the exercise was aimed to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries, and it was being held under the framework of international military cooperation.

The drills would formally commence on 8th November in Tarbela. Around 70 Russian troops and officers are participating in the exercise that would continue till 21st November. An equal number of Pakistani soldiers are participating in the drills.

“During the exercise, the military personnel of the two countries will exchange experience and work out interaction in performing tasks within the framework of training combat operations, in particular, to destroy illegal armed formations,” the Russian defence ministry said.

Sky diving and rescuing hostages by Special Forces of the two countries will be the highlight of the exercise. These exercises have been regularly held since 2016 alternating between Pakistan and Russia. Pakistan is hosting the drills for the third time, while Russia has held the war games twice.

“This year, due to the epidemiological situation in the world, the stages of the exercise will be held in compliance with all measures to prevent spread of the new coronavirus infection. All Russian military personnel were tested for COVID-19 before leaving for the exercise,” the Russian defence ministry said.