Russia

Exercise Tsentr 2019 Starts Off In Russia

Tsentr 2019 will feature a focus on Arctic capabilities.

A Russian focus on Arctic capabilities will feature in the exercise (Picture: Russian Ministry of Defence). 

Russia has recommenced its biggest-ever military training event, Exercise Tsentr.

A total of 36,000 armoured vehicles, 1,000 aircraft and 300,000 troops featured last year, under the training name Vostok 2018.

Tsentr 2019 will see 128,000 personnel take part in drills across six regions of Russia over six days - with seven other nations also taking part. 

Drills will take place on the Caspian Sea, but the construction of new ports along the northern sea route hold up reports that Russia will focus on its Arctic capabilities. 

This will be of interest to other global powers, China and America also showing an interest in the Arctic.

 

Watch: will the Arctic Circle become a new frontline?

China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and India will be in attendance.

Speaking at the opening of the Tsentr Strategic Command Post Exercise, the Ministry of Defence and General Staff for Uzbekistan said:

"We are hoping that the execution of all planned events of this exercise will allow to significantly increase the level of interaction during...joint operations in peacekeeping and security establishment."

The Indian Army said they will set their sights on improved counter-terrorism capabilities during the exercise.

The Indian Army released this image, before their team set off for Russia (Picture Twitter/@adgpi

In June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he had been briefed on plans for the exercise in the last NATO-Russia Council meeting.

He said: "Such exchanges are an important element of our continued dialogue.

"They help to limit the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation."

The exercise does not match the scale of last year's Vostok 2018, but the attention it has drawn remains significant.